News ID: 323470
Published: 0954 GMT August 14, 2022

Persian Gulf Pro League: Toothless Persepolis held by 10-man Zob Ahan

Persian Gulf Pro League: Toothless Persepolis held by 10-man Zob Ahan

Persepolis midfielder Soroush Rafiei (R) is challenged by Zob Ahan center-back Arman Qassemi for the ball during a Persian Gulf Pro League fixture at the Foolad Shahr Stadium, Isfahan, central Iran, on August 13, 2022.

Sports Desk

Persepolis was frustrated by a resolute Zob Ahan side in their opening fixture of the new Persian Gulf Pro League season, settling for a goalless draw in Isfahan’s Foolad Shahr Stadium. 

The home side reveled in a solid defensive display to hold out against the Tehran-based Reds, despite playing with 10 men for the majority of the second period, after center-back Nader Mohammadi was sent off for a second bookable offence nine minutes after the interval.

Yahya Golmohammadi’s side boasted several new signings in the starting XI – including creative midfielders Soroush Rafiei and Saeed Sadeqi – but was still clueless up front, with the Reds’ best chance coming in the 90th minute, when Giorgi Gvelesiani’s header hit the woodwork.

Golmohammadi hopes new Dutch striker Jürgen Locadia will be in fine form when his team squares off against Javad Nekounam’s Foolad Khuzestan at the Azadi Stadium on Friday.

Foolad also endured a disappointing opener in the Iranian top flight on Saturday, sharing the points with San’at Naft Abadan in a goalless encounter at the Foolad Arena.

Elsewhere, Golgohar Sirjan got off to flying start to its campaign by coming out victorious against Tractor at home.

Amir Qalenoei’s men found themselves in front in the 18th minute – thanks to a Navid Ashouri’s side-footed strike from behind the box.

Golgohar doubled the lead with six minutes into the second half after Reza Shekari’s screamer inside the box found the top corner.

Mohammad Abbas-Zadeh pulled one back for the visiting side four minutes later but it only proved to be a consolation for Kurban Berdyev’s side as it finished 2-1.

Qalenoei’s men will be looking on to improve on last season’s fourth-spot finish as  they believe they deserved more, had it not been for a seven-point deduction handed by the Iranian Football Federation for fielding an illegitimate player in three fixtures.

Next for Golgohar is a visit to Mes Rafsanjan, which played to a 1-1 draw against Nassaji Mazandaran on Friday.

Meanwhile, Russian-Turkmen manager Berdyev, who took charge in June, was given a better insight into the massive rebuild job on his hands at Tractor, which stood in a below-par  13th place last term.

The northwestern Iranian club will play Zob Ahan in Friday’s early fixture.


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