A three-game winning streak to the start of new Persian Gulf Pro League season came to an end for both Esteghlal and Sepahan.
Esteghlal’s French striker Arthur Yamga scored his third goal of the season from the spot against Fajr Sepasi, leaving Farhad Majidi’s men on course for a fourth successive league triumph, before Sirvan Qorbani headed home a 95th-minute equalizer for the host.
In Isfahan, meanwhile, a superb volley by Sajjad Danaei in the 57th minute saw Zob Ahan beat archrival Sepahan, which went down to 10 men 11 minutes later after skipper Jalal Alimohammadi received his marching orders.
Moharram Navidkia’s men could have gone in front in the first half, only to see Sajjad Shahbaz-zadeh being denied from the spot by Zob Ahan keeper Habib Farabbasi.
“We played some good football in the first half and created several chances. We conceded against the run of play, which is normal in football, and lost our concentration after the red card,” Navidkia said after the match.
Elsewhere on Friday, a third defeat in four outings for Tractor saw manager Firouz Karimi step down.
Peyman Babaei gave the Tabriz-based club the lead against Paykan with a fifth-minute header, but Esmaeil Babaei drew the visiting side level with a long-range effort in the 36th minute and then Mohammad-Javad Azadeh sealed a 2-1 victory for Mojtaba Hosseini’s side four minutes later.
In Mashhad, newly-promoted Havadar celebrated a first victory in the Iranian top-flight, beating Padideh 2-0, courtesy of first-half strikes by former Iranian international Mohammad Qazi and Nima Entezari.