A Mehdi Taremi brace fired Al Gharafa to a 3-0 home victory over Tractorsazi Tabriz in Matchday Two of the 2018 AFC Champions League Group A on Monday.
Al Gharafa got off to a flyer and were in front after just 11 minutes when Taremi powered in a header from Othman Al Yahri’s cross.
Back-to-back defensive mistakes from Sime Gregov cost Tractorsazi another goal in the 21st minute.
The Croatian 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 has 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 were thrown a lifeline six minutes before the break 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 Iranian international, however, made up for it with a close-range finish to round the scoring in the dying seconds of the game.
The Qatari side welcome Saudi Arabia’s Al Ahli to Doha in Matchday Three while Tractorsazi travel to Abu Dhabi to face Al Jazira.