Al Gharafa beats Pakhtakor in AFC Champions League play-offs

Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) -- Qatar’s Al Gharafa scored twice in the first half before holding on to confirm a place in the 2018 AFC Champions League group stage with a 2-1 win over Uzbekistan’s Pakhtakor in the play-off on Tuesday.

Al Gharafa’s Dutch midfielder Wesley Sneijder stepped up and made no mistake from the penalty spot to give his side the lead.

In the 28th minute, Al Gharafa doubled their advantage after Diogo Amado’s strike from the edge of the box slipped through the hands of Aleksandr Lobanov.

Pakhtakor battled hard for a way back into the game but despite Jasurbek Khakimov’s stoppage time goal, Al Gharafa hung on to clinch the win.

Al Gharafa will now join the UAE’s Al Jazira, Saudi Arabia’s Al Ahli and Islamic Republic of Iran’s Tractor Sazi in Group A, with the Qatari side set to travel to Abu Dhabi for their first match against Al Jazira on February 12.

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