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Esteghlal Wins 84th Derby

Esteghlal Wins 84th DerbyEsteghlal Wins 84th Derby

Esteghlal Tehran FC won the 84th Tehran Derby 3-2 against its rival Persepolis at the packed Azadi Stadium in Tehran on Sunday.

Also known as the Red-Blue Derby, the 84th match between the two prominent Tehran clubs, the major cross-town derby in the Persian Gulf Pro League and one of the hottest in the world, was breathtaking held in the presence of 80,000 spectators.

Persepolis gained early advantage with Soroush Rafiee’s goal in the fifth minute of the match.

However, Farshid Esmaili scored the equalizer for Esteghlal with an unstoppable shot in the 18th minute and two minutes later Esteghlal took the lead by Ali Qorbani’s header which sent the ball into the goal far from the keeper’s reach.

Both teams continued attacking and pressuring the other’s defense, but it was Esteghlal again that scored for the third time with an accurate shot by its best scorer of the season Kaveh Rezaei, just a minute before end of the first half.

At half-time the scoreboard showed 3-1 in favor of Esteghlal.

Persepolis, coached by the Croatian football manager Branko Ivankovic, started the second half more aggressively hoping to reduce the gap while Esteghlal’s headcoach Alireza Mansourian sent his team to the field with a more defensive formation to keep the lead.

And it was the Iranian manager who proved superior to his counterpart in controlling the game until the last minute. However, in the stoppage time, Jalal Hosseini compensated one of the goals for Persepolis but it could not prevent Esteghlal from taking home the 84th Derby.

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