Tehran – Supporters at the Azadi Stadium were excited to see a matchup between Branko Ivankovic’s Persepolis and Naft Tehran led by Ali Daei.
Twelve minutes into the match Persepolis forward Mehdi Taremi was fouled in the penalty area by Vahid Hamdinejad. Defender Hossein Mahini converted the penalty kick to put Persepolis in front 1-0 as Naft keeper Milad Farahani guessed wrong.
A free kick from Iman Mobali in the 19th minute was easily saved by Persepolis keeper Alireza Beiranvand to keep his side in the lead.
At the half hour mark, Taremi added to his goal tally when he received a one-touch pass that pitted him one-on-one with keeper Farahani in no-man’s land. Taremi got his shot past Farahani to put Persepolis in front 2-0.
Farahani was irate with his defenders and after seeing the replay it showed why because the Naft defense was unorganized and eliminated any possibility of a successful offside trap. Clearly Naft’s head coach is not a defensive tactician.
Six minutes into the second half Taremi almost added a second goal after he got his head on a cross from Omid Alishah but Farahani was quick to come out and make the save.
Naft kept up the pressure in the second half as they attempted to get back in the match but Alireza Beiranvand showed why he is the starting keeper for the national team of Iran as he continued to be on top form against his former team by coming off his line to prevent scoring opportunities and also denying Amir Arsalan Motahari’s attempt in the 73rd minute.
With six minutes remaining in normal time, a corner kick from Ahmad Nourollahi was headed home by Kamal Kamyabinia to put Persepolis into an unassailable lead at 3-0.
Branko Ivankovic definitely was happy at the final whistle as his boys continue to top the Iranian Pro League table with the 3-0 victory. Persepolis have five wins and three draws from eight matches played and have only conceded two goals in the process.
Persepolis will face champions Esteghlal Khuzestan in Ahvaz on 20 October while third place Naft will host Zob Ahan.