Afshin Afshar (lastkick.com) – Round 25 of the Iranian Professional League came to a close today with two games on Friday. The two Isfahan teams, Sepahan and Zob-Ahan still lead tight pack in that order followed by Esteghlal of Tehran and Perspolis, and still Azin is close fifth.
Here is a recap of the round 25 matches.
Friday, January 29
Esteghlal 3 – 1 Abu-Moslem
Esteghlal climbed third thanks to an away 3-1 victory over Abu-Moslem. Esteghlal’s first goal was scored by Abdol Jabbar Momeni (OG). The Togolese player headed in a cross by Esteghlal’s Khosrow Heidari into his own goal in the opening minute of the match. Abu-Moslem equalized however through a header by Mojtaba Zeighami, but Esteghlal scored two unanswered goals in the last fifteen minutes of the match to seal the victory (Farhad Majidi 78’ and Arash Borhani 90’+2’).
Peykan 1 – 3 Perspolis
In a hard fought and physical match in Qazvin, Perspolis defeated Peykan to keep themselves in the race for the title. Hossein Memar’s own goal in the eight minute gave Perspolis the lead. Karim Bagheri doubled the lead in the closing moments of the first half, but Peykan’s Jahangir Asgari pulled one back in the sixty sixth. Striker Mohsen Khalili put the game out of reach for the Reds with fifteen minutes to go.
Thursday, January 28
Saba 2 – 2 Sepahan
Leaders Sepahan had to fight back from a two goal deficit to salvage a point in Qom. The home side jumped ahead thanks to goals by Davood Haghi (5’) and Amin Farzaneh (60’). Sepahan pulled one back through Issa Traore in the closing minutes of the regulation (87’), and a penalty by Hadi Aghili four minutes into the extra time. Saba’s veteran Head Coach Rasoul Korbekandi was incensed about what he viewed as bad and biased referring.
Zob-Ahan 0 – 1 Pas
Runner-ups Zob-Ahan lost a close one against Pas at home on a goal by Yadollah Akbari (PK 45’). The Isfahani side not only lost three significant points at home, it also lost the services of two key players (Ali Ahmadi and Mohammadreza Khalatbari) because of red cards.
Moghavemat 2 – 1 Steel of Azin
In Shiraz the hosts jumped ahead thanks to a goal by Mohammad Iranpour (20’), but Azin stormed back in the second half to sweep all three points. Mohammad Gholami (60’) and Amin Sharafi (90 + 2’) scored for Azin. Azin’s Head Coach Hamid Estili resigned after the match, sighting his desire to spend more time with his family.
Foolad 1 – 1 Tractor
A ten-man Tractor overcame a penalty call to come away with a point from Ahvaz. The Tarbriz side took the lead in the fifteenth minute on a goal by Ami Mohebi. Three minutes later Siamak Sarlak failed to net the equalizer from the spot for the home side, but Nader Ahmadi managed to pull even ten minutes later. Tractor’s veteran defender Mohammad Nosrati was ejected from the game forcing the visitors to play most of the match with a man down.
The other results of Round 25 are as follows:
Malavan 1 – 0 Saipa
Rah-Ahan 3 – 2 Mes
Shahin 0 – 0 Esteghlal of Ahvaz