Poor Beginning for Well-Furnished Tractor Sazi

Poor Beginning for Well-Furnished Tractor SaziPoor Beginning for Well-Furnished Tractor Sazi

in the third week of the Persian Gulf Pro league Esteghlal humbled Tractor Sazi Tabriz with three goals at Azadi Stadium of Tehran on Friday.

The result helped the Blues go up in the league table and take fourth place with five points but pulled down the Tabriz-based club to 15th place (from among 16 teams) with only two points from three games.

In its first and second match of the season, Tractor Sazi ended in a draw against Naft Masjed Soleyman and Nasaji Mazandaran - both promoted from League 1 to the Pro League for the current season.

The bottom rank for the well-furnished Tractor Sazi at the end of the third week of the 2018-19 campaign came as a shock for the team and its fans despite the big names joining the club and hefty bills paid to buy top level players and manager. The team’s results are far from expectations.

According to experts in the field, the current formation of the team is the best it has had since its birth in 1970.

For both Esteghlal and Tractor Sazi, the newly signed players made their debut on Friday. Welsh manager of Tractor Sazi John Toshack had Team Melli captains Masoud Shojaei and Ashkan Dejagah as well as Harry Forrester from the UK and Irish Anthony Stokes in the starting XI. He also sent the Japanese attacking midfielder Yukiya Sugita in as a substitute in the 50th minute. On the other side of the pitch, German midfielder Markus Neumayr and Nigerian forward Alhaji Gero stepped in for Esteghlal.

Neumayr joined the Tehran club just days before the beginning of the league but Gero signed his contract with the Blues just a few days before the clash with Tractor Sazi.

The first goal for Esteghlal was netted by Abdollahzadeh from Tractor Sazi as an own goal in the 12th minute.

Farshid Esmaeili hit the back of the net in the 27th minute and the newly arrived Morteza Tabrizi scored the third goal minutes into the second half.

 Schaefer Adapts, Toshack Needs Time

After joining Esteghlal last October, German coach Winfried Schaefer helped revive the Blues and pulled up the team to the third spot in the 2017-18 season.

Coaching the team for about a year has let Schaefer create a strong team that has an eye on the league title this year. Esteghlal is also present in the quarterfinal round of AFC Champions League and will meet Qatar’s Al Sadd in two weeks.

But on the other side, Toshack is new to Iranian football. For someone who spent his whole career in Europe, the systemic shift will take time and three games certainly are not enough to evaluate the team. Toshack admitted in a press conference after the match that time is of essence for the newly-joined players to adjust.

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