Wesley Sneijder made a goalscoring bow in the Asian Champions League but was unable to spare Al Gharafa from a 3-2 defeat to Emirati champions Al Jazira.
Brazilian forward Romarinho was fortunate to see his attempted cross trickle past Al Gharafa goalkeeper Qassim Burham in the 10th minute but the visitors levelled swiftly when ex-Persepolis striker Mehdi Taremi drilled home from inside the box.
Ali Mabkhout restored Al Jazira's lead in the 26th minute and, after Sneijder hit the post with a free-kick, Ahmed Al Hashmi chested down and scored spectacularly from 35 yards.
It would prove to be the decisive goal in the Group A encounter, given Sneijder pounced from close range when Ahmed Alaeldin's shot came back off the post.
Uzbekistan's Lokomotiv Tashkent were the big winners on matchday one, thumping Al Wahda 5-0 in Group B.
Nivaldo opened the scoring in the 25th minute and Lokomotiv ran riot after the break, with midfielder Ikromjon Alibaev undermining Al Hashmi's claims towards goal of the day by sensationally netting from the halfway line.
Alibaev headed a more routine second to complete Al Wahda's misery on the back of a Salem Sultan own-goal and a close-range finish from substitute Sardor Rashidov.
Zobahan of Iran led Al Duhail in Doha until 16 minutes from time, when the first of two goals in three minutes from midfielder Karim Boudiaf set in motion a 3-1 comeback win in Group B.
Elsewhere in Group A, Tractor Sazi dominated Saudi visitors Al-Ahli for long periods but suffered a 1-0 defeat due to Mohannad Aseri's header midway through the second half.