AFC Champions League — Al Ahli 1 Al Gharafa 1


Qatar’s Al Gharafa held Saudi Arabia’s Al Ahli to a 1-1 draw in their AFC Champions League fourth-round Group A match in Jeddah on Tuesday.

Al Gharafa came within a whisker of stunning their hosts in the sixth minute when defender Abdelaziz Hatem rattled the right post off a cross from Wesley Sneijder.

Al Ahli gradually grew into the game and Saleh Al Amri took advantage of a misplaced pass to advance through on goal, but failed to take his chance. At the other end of the pitch, Muad Hassan tested the goalkeeper from distance, but Yasser Al Mosailem was well-positioned to save.

The visitors came the closest to open the scoring in the 19th minute when Mehdi Taremi found himself in front of an empty net after onrushing goalkeeper Al Mosailem failed to clear a ball from Asim Madibo, but the Iran international somehow missed the target.

After a goalless first half, Al Gharafa took the lead through Taremi who converted a cross from Hassan in the 56th minute.

Al Gharafa’s joy did not last long as Al Ahli responded instantly in similar fashion after Saeed Al Muwallad crossed for Moamen Zakaria, who headed home at the far post two minutes later.

The hosts almost snatched a winner when Ioannis Fetfatzidis cut inside from the right flank and fired a shot that ricocheted off the far post. Zakaria found the rebound, but failed to net the second goal as his attempt sailed above the crossbar 15 minutes from the final whistle.

The result kept Al Ahli top of the group with eight points ahead of their fifth-round game against Tractorsazi Tabriz while Al Gharafa are on five points, level with Al Jazira whom they host next.