Matchday Four - Group A: Tractorsazi Tabriz 1-1 Al Jazira
Tabriz: Islamic Republic of Iran's Tractorsazi Tabriz continued their winless run after drawing 1-1 at home with Al Jazira of the UAE in their 2018 AFC Champions League Group A fixture on Tuesday.
Tractorsazi started brightly and had a number of opportunities to go ahead in the first half, but were denied a goal by some stellar goalkeeping by Al Jazira's Ali Khaseif.
While the hosts enjoyed clear domination, it was Al Jazira who opened the scoring against the run of play, in the 44th minute. Brazilian star Romarinho latched on to an aerial pass from defender Musallam Fayez and slotted in the first goal of the match.
After the restart, Tractorsazi emerged with renewed vigour and urgency but they were let down once again by a combination of poor finishing and Khaseif's continued brilliance. Ehsan Pahlevan, in particular, had a glorious chance after going one-on-one with the Emirati goalkeeper but skewed his shot just wide of the right post.
Ertugrul Saglam's men did not lose hope, though, and their perseverance finally paid off in the 78th minute, when Farzad Hatami headed in Pahlevan's cross to equalise. The final few minutes saw Tractorsazi bombard the Al Jazira box in search of a winner but the visitors held on to secure a point.
The result leaves Tractorsazi on the brink of elimination, as they sit at the bottom of Group A with two points after four games. Al Jazira, on the other hand, have a tally of five points and remain in contention alongside Al Ahli and Al Gharafa.
Both teams will be on the road for Matchday Five, as Al Jazira play Al Gharafa in Doha while Tractorsazi face Al Ahli away.