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Esteghlal Tehran 1 : 1 Perspolis Tehran

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Posted on Sunday, October 14 2007

(Irankicks) Tehranís much anticipated derby between first place Perspolis and mid-table Esteghlal ended in a 1-1 draw today in Azadi Stadium. As it has been the custom for the past several years, a non-Iranian referee, Itorald Gonzalez of Spain judged the contest.

Both sides started conservatively, and chances in the first half were far and few in between. A Perspolis goal by Nikbakht was disallowed for ball handling, and Esteghlalís Borhani missed a one-on-one chance with Roudbarian. The second half was more eventful, with Esteghlal more eager to push forward. Seconds after Esteghlal goalkeeper, Taleblou artistically deflected Nouriís shot, on the other end of the field Ravankhah found Roudbarian napping and his long shot in the 57th minute gave the Blues a 1-0 lead. It took nearly 30 minutes before Perspolis was able to respond. A cross by Rezaei was headed in by Khalili with seven minutes left of the regulation. A foul-infested match, in which Mr. Gonzalez issued six yellow cards ended 1-1. After the match, Mr. Gonzalez criticized Iranian players for lack of professionalism and obvious attempts to fool the referee; however, he expressed his willingness to whistle the return match in Spring.

With Sepahanís loss and Saba Batteryís draw the previous day, Perspolis increased its lead at top of the table with 21 points, although Sepahan with two games in hand are 5 points behind. Saba Battery are in the second place with 17 points. Esteghlal experienced a drop of two spots and finished Round 9 in the 11th place.

Perspolis is facing a tough challenge in Round 10, playing Esteghlal Ahvaz. Esteghlal Tehran is away to bottom place Pegah.

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