Iran’s professional football club Persepolis has claimed the championship of Iran’s Persian Gulf Pro League, formerly known as Iran Pro League (IPL), for the second consecutive year following a victory over Padideh Football Club.
The Tehran-based giants defeated Padideh, which sat in the 12th spot of the Pro League table with 26 points on the board from 26 games, 1-0 at the Samen al-Aeme Stadium on the outskirts of the northeastern Iranian city of Mashhad on Saturday evening.
The red-clad Padideh players started the match in a dominant fashion. Striker Mohammad Reza Khalatbari was through on goal in the 19th minute and seeking to beat Persepolis goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand.
Persepolis Vice Captain Hossein Mahini, however, intervened and picked the ball at the goal area, colloquially known as the six-yard box.
The 30-year-old Persepolis midfielder Vahid Amiri then took up a suitable chance to open the scoring for his team in the 29th minute.
He passed the ball to his teammate Kamal Kamyabinia, who spoiled the chance and screwed his shot wide of goal.
In the dying seconds of the first half, Persepolis striker Ali Alipour committed a faux pas in a one-on-one with Padideh custodian. Alipour simply ruined the opportunity, leaving Persepolis fans stunned to rue the wasted golden occasion.
After the breather, Perspolis players had more vigor and valor, and heaped pressure on the opponents’ goalpost.
They got a marvelous chance in the 54th minute, but did not manage to place it into the net.
Finally, Amiri’s header with 18 minutes left on the clock broke the deadlock and put the visitors in front.
The hosts could not find the target to level the score later on, and Branko Ivankovic’s men snatched the victory.
Perspolis claimed its first Persian Gulf Pro League title at the inaugural edition of the competition in the 2001-02 season. The Reds were crowned for the second time in the 2007-08 season. They clinched the Persian Gulf Pro League title for the third time in the 2016-17 season.
Foolad Mobarakeh Sepahan soccer club, commonly known as Sepahan, is the most decorated team in Iran's top-level league with five title, having won the championship in 2002-03, 2009-10, 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2014-15 seasons.
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