Al-Ittihad were forced to come from behind to claim a slender 2-1 advantage over Zobahan in the first leg of their AFC Champions League last-16 tie.
The Iranian side will not be too disheartened, however, after Ghasem Hadadifar's free-kick in the seventh minute gave them a valuable away goal at Zabeel Stadium.
Luis Jimenez gave away the foul that lead to the opener and an eventful debut continued for the former Chile international when he swept home an equaliser two minutes later – capitalising when Masoud Ebrahimdzadeh's attempted clearance from Emiliano Vecchio's cross came back off the crossbar.
Al-Ittihad missed a string of chances to go in front, with striker Romarinho culpable, but they claimed the win in the 72nd minute when Ziyad Al Sahafi powered home a cross from the impressive Carlo Villanueva.
Monday's other match, Leonardo grabbed a 1-1 draw for Al Wahda at Al Nassr.
Abderrazak Hamdallah headed the home side into a 17th minute lead but Leonardo responded with his ninth of the campaign - rounding goalkeeper Brad Jones to finish eight minutes after half time.