By FOX Sports staff
Al Shabab, who finished third in the UAE Pro League last season, saw off Saba Qom 5-4 on penalties after both sides played out a 1-1 draw after extra-time at the Yadegar-e Emam Stadium.
Nonetheless, they almost missed out as they spent most of the game trailing after Iman Razaghirad opened the scoring for the Iranian outfit in the fourth minute, only for Esam Dhani to equalise and a minute from time.
With neither side able to find a winner in extra-time, the game then went to the dreaded shootout, where Al Shabab ultimately prevailed thanks to Abdolkarim Eslami missed the vital kick for Saba Qom.
The Emirati side's victory sends them through to Group B, where they will do battle with Qatar's Lekhwiya, Uzbek giants Pakhtakor and Al Ettifaq of Saudi Arabia.
Their Pro League rivals Al Nasr also booked their place in the group stage at the weekend with a 3-2 home win over Lokomotiv Tashkent, who finished third in the Uzbek League last term, at the Al-Maktoum Stadium.
After Japan international Takayuki Morimoto had given the hosts a 30th minute lead, Lokomotiv pulled level in the 71st minute through Victor Karpenko, before Akmal Kholmatov fired them ahead five minutes later.
However, Habib Fardan made it 2-2 just a couple of minutes after Al Nasr had gone behind and, a minute from time, the Emirati side were awarded a penalty after Dilshod Jabbarov upended Humaid Ahmed inside the box, allowing Leo Lima to step up and fire home the winner from the spot.
Sunday's AFC Champions League Qualifying Playoff Results
Saba Qom 1-1 Al Shabab Al Arabi (after extra time, 3-5 on penalties)
Al Nasr 3-2 Lokomotiv Tashkent