Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Iran’s soccer champions Esteghlal get off to rocky start in new season

Iran’s Professional League (IPL) kick started a new season this week with a bout that put an end to the invincibility of the blues from the capital Esteghlal for the entire previous season.

Isfahan’s Sepahan FC edged past Esteghlal 2-0 at the Azadi stadium on Friday, leaving a bitter taste in the mouth of the titleholders.

Both sides had a lackluster performance for almost all of the first half.

Sepahan’s Yassin Salmani took advantage of Esteghlal’s vulnerable defense line and made it 1-0 in the 52nd minute.

Ramin Rezaeian scored the second goal in the 57th minute.

Also on Friday, Anzali’s Malavan lost 1-0 to Paykan in Tehran, Nassaji and Mes Rafsanjan drew a 1-1 tie, Havadar defeated Aluminum 1-0 in Arak, and Mes Kerman took a drubbing by Naft Masjed Soleyman 3-2.

On Saturday, Zob Ahan will face Persepolis in Isfahan, Foolad will play Abadan’s Sanat Naft in a derby in southern city of Ahvaz and Gol Gohar will meet Tractor.

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