|Esteghlal beat Saipa as title race stays wide open||
TEHRAN – The race for the Iran Professional League title remained wide open when leader Esteghlal defeated Saipa 2-0, second-placed Foolad edged Malavan 1-0 and third-placed Naft crushed Tractor Sazi 3-0.
Arash Borhani celebrated his 100th goal for Esteghlal after he found the back of the net in the 55th minute. Boubacar Kebe extended Esteghlal’s lead in the 74th minute.
“Thanks God we got all three points. After we were omitted from Iran’s Hazfi Cup, I am happy we defeated Saipa and stayed on top of the table. Also, I congratulate Arash (Borhani) because he scored his 100th goal for our team,” Esteghlal coach Amir Ghalenoei said.
Foolad edged Malavan in Bandar Anzali thanks to a late goal from Mehrdad Jamaati.
Naft pummeled Tractor Sazi 3-0 in Tehran’s Takhti Stadium. Reza Norouzi scored twice in the 46th and 55th minutes and Mojtaba Shiri was on target in the 90th minute.
Persepolis drew 1-1 with relegation-threatened Sepasi in Shiraz. Jalal Hosseini found the back of the net with a header in the 50th minute and Jalaleddin Alimohammadi leveled the match in the 66th minute.
Elsewhere, Gostaresh Foolad of Tabriz and Mes of Kerman played out a goalless draw.
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