AFC Champions League — Al Gharafa 3 Tractorsazi Tabriz 0


Qatar’s Al Gharafa rode on a Mehdi Taremi brace to beat Iranian side Tractorsazi Tabriz 3-0 in Group A of the AFC Champions League on Monday.

Hosts Al Gharafa went ahead after just 11 minutes when Taremi found the target with a header off a cross from Othman Al Yahri.

Back-to-back defensive mistakes from Sime Gregov cost Tractorsazi another goal in the 21st minute. The Croat was first dispossessed by Taremi who out-muscled him to move clear on goal before selflessly squaring for Wesley Sneijder, who had the empty goal at his mercy. 

However, Gregov recovered just in time to intercept Taremi’s pass only to fluff his lines and watch the ball roll into the back of the net from his attempted clearance.

Tractorsazi got a lifeline six minutes from half-time when Rubert Quijada was fouled by Mohammad Naderi inside the box, but Mehdi Mehdipour saw his powerful strike from the spot parried away by goalkeeper Yousef Hassan.

Taremi had the chance to double his tally for the night, but his 75th-minute penalty was saved by goalkeeper Jordi. 

The Iran international striker made amends with a close-range finish to round off the tally at the fag end of the game.