ACL Play-Offs: Zob Ahan, Saipa to meet Qatari rivals

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Tasnim – KUALA LUMPUR, Iran along with Qatar and Uzbekistan has two clubs vying to reach the Continental competition, with all to be decided in the one-legged match-ups.

Eight spots remain up for grabs in the 2019 AFC Champions League group stage ahead of the final Play-off round on Tuesday when four crucial fixtures will take place in West Asia.

Saipa of Iran will face Qatar’s Al Rayyan in Doha’s Jassim bin Hamad Stadium on Tuesday.

Despite being regulars in the tournament, Al Rayyan has never advanced beyond the group stage, while Saipa – whose coach Ali Daei was in charge of the side at the beginning of its only appearance (in 2008) – reached the quarter-final 11 years ago.

Another Iranian club Zob Ahan has been scheduled to meet Qatar’s Al Gharafa on Tuesday in Doha’s Thani bin Jassim Stadium.

Al Gharafa will look to confirm its second successive appearance and the Iranian side is attempting to qualify for the group stage for the fourth year in a row after last year reaching the Round of 16.

Al Gharafa finished fourth in the 2017-18 Qatar Stars League while Zob Ahan was runners-up in the Iranian Pro League, before seeing off three-time AFC Cup winner Kuwait SC 1-0 after extra time in Preliminary Stage 2 last Tuesday.


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