Esteghlal vs Persepolis: goals, match report
A win for Esteghlal against city rivals Persepolis in the Tehran derby keeps the Pro League title race alive with a 1-0 win at a packed Azadi Stadium.
A goal on the stroke of half-time from Vouria Ghafouri turning the ball home from close range with the aid of both posts was enough to claim victory for Esteghlal in the Tehran derby.
Persepolis came into the derby knowing that a win would mathematically sew up the Pro League title but the men in red were outplayed and out muscled by Winfried "Winnie" Schäfer's men in a game that was watched by FIFA president Infantino and former Dutch international Marco Van Basten.
The Pro League now takes a break and Persepolis will know that a win at home to mid-table Saipa on March 29th will be enough for the red side of Tehran to retain the Persian Gulf Pro League title.
Esteghlal FC vs Persepolis FC live: as it happened
90'+5' Still no sign of the final whistle from the match official. ... That's it ... it's all over...Esteghlal win the Tehran derby 1-0 as the blue side celebrate...
90'+4' Esteghlal break but fail to use the ball wisely and give possession away... big throw coming up for the men in red .... last action ? Persepolis keeper is up and heads over .... that must be it ....
90'+4' Esteghlal fans sening a win is imminent....Persepolis still probe but being let down by the final pass...
90' What can Persepolis offer as time runs down?
90' 5 minutes of time to be added
89' Persepolis getting desperate now pumping high balls into the box.... We're now in time added on....
89' Play held up yet again ...
86' It has been far from a classic but the blue half of Tehran won't complain about the performance if they can hang on to this slender 1-0 lead.
86' Sad scenes as the Esteghal player is stretchered from the pitch as we head twoards the 90th minute. 4´to go plus added time ...
84' Once again, play held up as an Esteghal player needs medical attention.
84' Persepolis now playing with added tempo as the use both flanks to try and cut through the Esteghlal rear-guard
80' Very little impact from Godwin the first Persepolis sub with the Nigerian striker failing to get into the rhythm of the game
79' Persepolis push and proble but no way through the wall of blue....just ten minutes for Esteghlal to hold out and keep the league alive
75' More cards being branded with Djeparov the latest name in the book
75' Another change for Persepolis with No. 18 making way for No. 8 (Ahmad) as the men in red look for the equalising goal
73' Still no breakthrough for the league leaders as they manage to win a corner on the right hand side of the pitch....Nodded away and Esteghlal break ...
71' Play held up as an Esteghlal player recieves medical attention
67' Terrible effort from Esteghlal striker as he miscues his effort and the ball drifts behind the goal into the advertising hoardings. both managers shuffling their side with changes being made. The men in blue doing well to restraining Persepolis to long range efforts.
Min 66' Esteghlal 1-0 Persepolis
65' Spectacular overhead effort for Persepolis but the striker fails to get his shot on target. The men in red creeping back into the game bit by bit but a solid defensive performance from Esteghlal so far enough to keep the league leaders at bay.
63' Persepolis try a long range effort with the Esteghlal goalkeeper comfortably behind the ball.
60' Despite increased possession little in terms of threat on goal from the men in red.
57' The Persepolis corner can now be taken after a brief barrage of objects aimed at the Persepolis No. 5 Bashar
57' Persepolis now dominating possession looking for that equaliser as the men in red win a corner
53' Niggly fouls creeping into the action with the match official now whistling constantly
51' Goalscorer Ghafouri carded for a rash challenge...first card of the game
51' Dangerous freekick for the men in blue but the ball is overhit and heads out for a goal kick
49' Neither side able to retain possession in this early stage of the second period with passes going astray.
48' Cheap freekick given away by the Esteghlal right back but the Persepolis free comes to nothing.
46' Off we go... Esteghlal get us underway....
46' About to get underway in the Iranian capital. Can Esteghlal keep the season alive with a win ?
45' Half Time in Tehran as Esteghlal go in 1-0 at the break. slightly deserved on the run of play
44' Poor defending as Esteghlal are gifted a chance in the 6 yard area as the striker stabs home with the ball going in off both posts
44' Esteghlal score
42' Persepolis break and a poor final ball on the right hand side causes the move to break down.
38' Game getting broken up now with a series of fouls as the match official talks to players from both sides requesting calm.
37' Esteghlal do well in clearing the danger and launch a counter that comes to nothing.
37' Danger from Persepolis as a long range speculative effort is deflected for a corner
34' Another corner for the men in blue .... Esteghlal certainly the better side in the game so far.
The camera pans to a smiling Infantino. Nothing that exciting happening on the field of play to get the head of FIFA enthused just yet.
30' A stunning view of the Azadi from the sky reveals 3/4 of the stadium decked out in blue with Esteghlal being the home side today.
29' Muted call for a Persepolis penalty but the match official waves away the protests
And again... a cross shot is miscued and fires wide across the face of the Persepolis goal.
28' Esteghlal go close as the keeper is called into action to tip the ball around the post for a corner
26' Perse-Polis... Perse-Polis chants range out from the red sector of the Azadi. Remember a win will seal the title for Persepolis
25' Esteghlal chance as a header loops over the bar from close range. Looked like offside but a great chance there for the men in blue.
Tame shot from Persepolis which is aimed straight at the Esteghlal keeper
Esteghlal manager Winfried Schäfer wearing a club scarf around his neck on the touchline at a packed Azadi stadium
20' Very poor challenge from the Esteghal No. 14 which goes unpunished by today's match official. Looked like a card in our view.
Esteghlal enjoying the better of the possession in the opening stages of the game but neither keeper really called into action so far.
15' Little in terms of controlled play with both sides aiming long balls as Esteghlal win a corner that comes to nothing.
Rash shot from Esteghlal with the ball flying out for a throw in. Persepolis break
12 minutes in and apologies for out initial technical issues
German coach Winfried Schäfer is the manager of Esteghlal. The 68-year-old has managed at club level in Germany as well as being national team manager of Cameroon, Jamaica, Thailand among others.
It's rumoured that both Marco Van Basten and head of FIFA Gianni Infantino will both attend the derby. President Gianni Infantino met with Iranian Football Federation President Mehdi Taj after meeting with Iran's Minister of Sport and Youth during his visit to the capital Tehran earlier today.
This excellent article from These Football Times recalls Zayed's career playing around the world including his brief spell with Persepolis.
Persepolis are runaway leaders of the Persian Gulf Pro League 2017/18 competition leading Zob Ahan by 16 points with the blue side of Tehran in third place. Bragging rights and local pride very much on the line today in Tehran.
Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the biggest game in Iranian football as Esteghlal face Persepolis in the Tehran derby with a 1315 CET start.
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