Abadan – Sanat Naft are back in the Iranian Pro League for the first time in three years after being promoted from the Azadegan League on the final match day of the 2015-16 season.
The club from Abadan hasn’t been an offensive juggernaut so far with scoreless draws at Saba Qom and home against Tractor Sazi but they have only conceded one goal in three matches.
Their first victory of the season came on 5 August in Tehran against heavy favorites Esteghlal. Midfielder Ali Ghorbani put Esteghlal in the lead with a goal in the 67th minute but out of nowhere, Sanat Naft stunned the fans at the Azadi Stadium with two goals in the last five minutes.
In the 86th minute, Sanat keeper Hassan Houri ran and quickly punted the ball down the field. The ball bounced near the Esteghlal penalty area and forward Reza Norouzi was able to gain possession and put the ball past keeper Mehdi Rahmati despite being surrounded by Vouria Ghafouri, Farshid Esmaeili, and Armenian defender Hrayr Mkoyan.
Norouzi, who wears number nine on his shirt, did not look quite like the famous Ronaldo but he showed great skill with his ball control and finishing skills.
Esteghlal looked for the go-ahead goal in the dying minutes but midfielder Omid Ebrahimi fouled Sanat midfielder Milad Jahani in the 91st minute and the referee awarded the visitors a penalty.
Defender Hossein Baghlani converted the spot kick and the traveling contingent of yellow shirts went crazy as the sea of blue in Azadi were silent.
Head coach Nader Dastneshan was delighted on the sidelines while Alireza Mansourian could only shake his head on the opposite bench.
Sanat Naft will host Sepahan on 11 August and Esteghlal will face Paykan on the road and try to earn their first win of the season.