News ID: 315359
Published: 0241 GMT August 07, 2021

Esteghlal, Foolad battling it out for Hazfi Cup trophy

Esteghlal, Foolad battling it out for Hazfi Cup trophy

Sports Desk

Persian Gulf Pro League giants Esteghlal and Foolad Khuzestan will square off in Iran’s Hazfi Cup final at Isfahan’s Naqsh-e Jahan Stadium on Sunday.

Farhad Majidi’s Esteghlal booked their place in the final showpiece by a 2-1 semifinal victory over Golgohar Sirjan on Wednesday, having beaten arch-rivals Persepolis in the shootout in the previous round.

Foolad, meanwhile, came out victorious by two goals against the second-tier side Malavan Bandar Anzali in the semis.

A place in next season’s AFC Champions League will be at stake for Foolad, after Javad Nekounam’s men failed to finish in the league’s top three.

Six-placed Foolad will be hoping to build on a decent season in the Sunday’s encounter, after going a whole league campaign undefeated at home.

Meanwhile, Esteghlal, who have already secured an ACL spot by finishing third in the league, will be after a first title in three years by lifting a record-extending eighth cup trophy, having won the competition in 2018.

Majidi, however, will be without first-choice keeper Seyyed Hossein Hosseini, who will miss the tie with suspension, as well as centre-back Mohammad Daneshgar, who also received a third yellow card in the competition against Golgohar.

Foolad won the first meeting between the two in the league 2-1 at home, courtesy of a 90th-minute spot kick by Luciano Pereira, while the Tehran-based won the reverse fixture 1-0, also by a late penalty converted by Amir-Arsalan Motahari, in what was Majidi’s first match in his third spell on Blues bench.



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