AFC Champions League - Group A: Al Gharafa 2-3 Al Jazira

Published April 3rd, 2018 - 06:22 GMT
Al Jazira's Ali Ahmed Mabkhout (C) celebrates after scoring a goal during the AFC Champions League match between Qatar's al-Gharafa and UAE's Al-Jazira at the Thani Bin Jassim Stadium in Doha on April 3, 2018.
KARIM JAAFAR / AFP
Al Jazira's Ali Ahmed Mabkhout (C) celebrates after scoring a goal during the AFC Champions League match between Qatar's al-Gharafa and UAE's Al-Jazira at the Thani Bin Jassim Stadium in Doha on April 3, 2018. KARIM JAAFAR / AFP

Ali Mabkhout scored twice as Al Jazira repeated their 3-2 win over Al Gharafa on Matchday Five of the 2018 AFC Champions League Group A to qualify for the last 16 stage.

The visitors took an early lead inside 14 minutes when Mabkhout dribbled past Al Gharafa defender Tameem Al Muhaiza in a narrow space inside the box.

Mabkhout then unleashed a powerful strike that rattled the crossbar which fell for Romarinho who was left with a simple header from point-blank range into the empty net.

Ahmed Alaaeldin restored parity in the 28th minute after he beat Al Jazira goalkeeper Ali Khaseif at his near post to stab home Abdelaziz Hatem’s cross from the left wing following a Wesley Sneijder free-kick.

Al Gharafa’s comeback was completed in the last minute of the opening half when Portuguese defender Diogo Amado controlled Sneijder’s in-swinging corner kick and fired between Khaseif’s legs from close range to take his side into the dressing room with a valuable 2-1 half-time lead.

Twenty minutes from time, Romarinho returned the favour for Mabkhout, supplying a through pass for the number 7 who struck through the legs of goalkeeper Qasem Burhan from a narrow angle to equalise for Al Jazira.

Al Gharafa were reduced to 10 men in added time as Assim Madibo received his second yellow card for a late challenge on Salim Ali.

Al Jazira instantly took advantage and grabbed the winner with virtually the last kick of the game. Mabkhout broke free and rounded the goalkeeper before applying a calm finish to earn his side their second win of the campaign.

The win took Al Jazira to eight points, three clear of Al Gharafa, with a place in the Round of 16 confirmed on a better head to head.

Source: The AFC

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