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El Jaish hold Ahli, Al Gharafa lose

QATAR’S El Jaish came from behind to hold last year’s runners-up Al Ahli of Saudi Arabia 1-1 in the double-leg pre-quarterfinal of the AFC Champions League at the Lekhwiya Stadium on Tuesday.

In another game, Al Gharafa let Al Shabab, also of Saudi Arabia, off the hook as the visitors won 2-1 win at the Al Gharafa Stadium.

The return legs will be played on May 21.

Despite losing prolific Omani striker Emad Al Hosni 15 minutes into the game due to an injury, Ahli were undoubtedly the better lot in the first half. They tested the hosts’ defence with a flurry of attacks and deservedly took the lead in the added time through Mutaz Al Mousa, who headed home a cross from the left.

Brazilian defender Anderson Martins, who was instrumental in thwarting most of the attacks, found the equaliser in the 76th minute when he rifled home at the far post after receiving a loose ball inside the box, following a free-kick.

Elsewhere, Gharafa went in front through Mark Bresciano in the 42nd, but goals from Sebastian Tagliabue (55th) and Nasser Al Shamrani (83rd) ensured Shabab returned home winners.