A boring Tehran derby on Saturday saw Persian Gulf Pro League giants Esteghlal and Persepolis play to a goalless stalemate at Tehran’s Azadi Stadium.
Clear-cut chances were few and far between in the match – featuring two teams which had shared just 17 goals between them after seven rounds of games into the new campaign – with Vahid Amiri going close to break the deadlock for the Reds on a couple of occasions early in the second period.
The Iranian international’s header went just wide two minutes after the interval before his left-footed effort in the box was well blocked by Rouzbeh Cheshmi.
Esteghlal, meanwhile, had a major appeal for a spot kick late in the game after Beninese striker Rudy Gestede “was tripped” by Persepolis center-back Farshad Faraji.
The draw still saw Persepolis, which is seeking a record-extending sixth successive league title, cut the deficit on top of the table to one point, as league leader Sepahan was stunned by a 4-2 defeat at Golgohar Sirjan.
Armin Sohrabian gave Golgoahr the lead with just two minutes into the game before summer signing Mehdi Tikdari doubled the lead five minutes before the interval.
Tikdari scored a third goal for the home side in the 54th minute but Danial Esmaeilifar pulled one back for the visiting side two minutes later.
Saeed Sadeqi secured the three points for Amir Qalenoei’s men two minutes from normal time as an Esmaeilifar’s second deep into stoppage time proved to be just a consolation for Moharram Navidkia’s side.
The result saw Golgohar move equal on 16 points with Sepahan, only to stand second on goal difference.
Esteghlal is fourth in the table, one point adrift of its city rival, but could go further down the standing, should Aluminium Arak – on 13 points with a game in hand – beat Tractor in Tabriz today.