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.