IT WAS heartbreak for last year’s semifinalists El Jaish and former champions Al Sadd as both Qatari teams failed to qualify for the AFC Champions League, going down to Uzbekistan’s Bunyodkor and Iran’s Esteghlal respectively in Tuesday’s play-offs.
Jaish lost 1-3 on penalties at the Lekhwiya Stadium after the teams failed to break the deadlock even after extra time.
Romarinho hit the post while Sardor Rashidov’s left-footed attempt and Majdi Siddiq’s shot were blocked by goalkeeper Murotjon Zukhurov. Mohamed Methnani was the only one who scored for Jaish.
Dostonbek Khamdamov, Rustamjon Ashurmatov and Eldor Shomurodov all were on target for Bunyodkor.
At Tehran’s Azadi Stadium, Sadd went down 3-4 in shoot-out after 120 minutes of goalless action.
Esteghlal’s Omid Ebrahimi missed his penalty, but Kaveh Rezae, Ali Ghorbani, Farshid Esmaeil and Khosro Heidari converted the remaining ones.
For Sadd, Ibrahim Majed and Mohamed Kasola missed the target while Hassan Al Haidous, Xavi Hernandez and Baghdad Bounedjah converted.
Al Rayyan and Lekhwiya had already made it to the main draw by virtue of being the Qatar Stars League champions and Emir’s Cup winners respectively.