TEHRAN (Tasnim) Zob Ahan football team of Iran advanced to the 2019 AFC Champions League after beating Qatars Al Gharafa 3-2 on Tuesday. - Sports news - The Iranian side had to overturn a two-goal deficit in the second half to progress to the group stage.
Al Gharafa broke the deadlock halfway through the opening period after midfielder Abdelaziz Hatim chested down a long pass and set up fellow Qatar international Ahmed Alaaeldin who fired first time with his left into the top corner for the hosts' first of the game.
Alaaeldin turned from scorer to provider in the 36th minute, laying off the ball to Mehdi Taremi who slid home from the edge of the penalty box to double the Qatari side's lead before the break.
Zob Ahan returned from the dressing room a completely different side.
Within two minutes of the restart, Nigerian striker Christian Osaguona pulled a goal back.
Aerial balls proved to be Al Gharafa's downfall as Amir Arsalan Motahari rose above Lucas Mendes to head home Zob Ahan's equalizer from Mohammad Reza Hosseini's pinpoint cross in the 63rd minute.
The Iranian side completed its miraculous comeback in the 79th minute through Mohammed Nejadmehdi.
Zob Ahan joined Al Wasl from the UAE, Al Zawraa from Iraq as well as Saudi Arabia's Al Nassr, who defeated Uzbekistan's AGMK in another play-off fixture on Tuesday.