News ID: 273659
Published: 0206 GMT September 02, 2020

Esteghlal, Tractor to face off in Hazfi Cup final

Esteghlal, Tractor to face off in Hazfi Cup final

Sports Desk

Esteghlal and Tractor square off in the Hazfi Cup final at Imam Reza Stadium in Mashhad, northeastern Iran, on Thursday.

Esteghlal comes off a semifinal victory over archrival Persepolis in the shootouts last week, while a Sasan Ansari strike secured a 1-0 win over Naft Masjed Soleyman for the Tabriz-based club in the other last-four tie.

Thursday’s finalists met twice in the recently finished Persian Gulf Pro League season, with Esteghlal claiming a famous 4-2 win in Tabriz – courtesy of a Malian striker Cheick Diabaté’s hat-trick – before the two sides settled for a goalless stalemate in July.

Both teams have already booked their places in next year’s AFC Champions League as Esteghlal finished second in the league – 14 points adrift of Persepolis – and a last-four success guaranteed a spot in the Asian competition for Tractor, regardless of Thursday’s result.

The capital’s Blues have gone through a rollercoaster of events since their derby triumph.

Manager Farhad Majidi announced his resignation in an Instagram post a day after the semifinal win, slamming the club CEO Ahmad Sa’adatmand’s trip to Italy in an effort to lure back Majidi’s Italian predecessor Andrea Stramaccioni on the eve of the Tehran derby.

Majidi, however, reversed his decision a day later but insisted that Thursday’s final will be his last game in charge of the Tehran giant.

The match will kick off at 18:15 local time (1345 GMT).











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