Champions League: West Asia Zone wrap

Naft Teheran (Iran) 1-0 El Jaish (Qatar)

Naft Teheran beat El Jaish 1-0 at the Azadi Stadium to secure a first-ever appearance in the AFC Champions League group stage. Amir Motahhari scored the goal in the 50th minute when Iman Mobali’s cross from the left was headed home by the unmarked Motahhari from eight-yards out to give his side the win. Naft join inaugural AFC Champions League winners Al Ain, Uzbek champions Pakhtakor and Saudi Arabia King’s Cup holders Al Shabab in Group B of the Champions League.

Al Wahda (UAE) 4-4 Al Sadd (Qatar) (Aet. 4-5)
Former champions Al Sadd edged out Al Wahda of the United Arab Emirates 5-4 on penalties following a 4-4 draw after extra-time in Tuesday’s play-off. Mohamed Al Shehhi appeared to have got victory for the home side as the midfielder netted in second-half stoppage time only for Khalfan Ibrahim’s second of the night to dramatically send the tie into extra-time. Ibrahim then scored for Al Sadd in the first half of extra-time only for Ismail Matar to equalise for Al Wahda and sent the tie to penalties, which eventually saw goalkeeper Al Saad Al Sheeb emerge as the hero in the shootout by denying Hussain Fadhel . 

Bunyodkor (Uzbek) 2-1 Al Jazira (UAE)
Goals by Vokhid Shodiev and Sardor Rashidov were enough for Bunyodkor to beat UAE club Al Jazira 2-1 in the final round of the play-offs on Tuesday. This is the Uzbek side’s eighth consecutive appearance in the group stage of the AFC Champions League.  Forward Shodiev was on target midway through the first-half at Bunyodkor Stadium only for Ali Mabkhout to draw the side’s level from the penalty spot on the brink of half-time.  In the 52nd minute, Rashidov put the hosts back in front and the Tashkent club were able to see out the tie to take the final place in Group A alongside Saudi Arabian champions Al Nassr, Qatar Stars League winners Lekhwiya and Iran's Persepolis.

Al Ahli (Saudi Arabia) 2-1 Qadsia SC (Kuwait)
Al Ahli came from behind to beat Kuwait’s Qadsia SC 2-1 in extra-time to advance to the group stage of the AFC Champions League at King Abdullah Sports City. Qadsia took the lead shortly after the half hour mark through a stunning strike from Bader Al Motawaa but with seven minutes remaining, Omar Al Soma levelled for the hosts from the penalty spot, after an infringement that saw Khaled Al Qahtani red-carded, and forced extra-time. Midfielder Mustafa Al Bassas’ late winner that ensured Al Ahli take their place in Group D alongside Hazfi Cup winners Tractorsazi Tabriz of Iran, the United Arab Emirates champions Al Ahli and Uzbek club Nasaf Qarshi.

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