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Esteghlal into Hazfi Cup quarter-final [VIDEO]

Tehran Times - Esteghlal football team booked a spot in Iran’s Hazfi Cup Round of Eight after defeating Nassaji Mazandaran 2-1 on Friday.

In the match held in Tehran’s Azadi Stadium in front of about 30,000 spectators, Farshid Esmaeili gave the Blues a lead in the 28th minute after taking advantage of a mistake by Nassaji defender.

Nassaji coach Mehdi Pashazadeh, an ex-Esteghlal defender, was sent off in the 57th minute after protesting the referee’s decisions.

Two minutes later, Ali Ghorbani extended Esteghlal’s lead from a cross sent by Milad Zakipour.

Mohammad Osani pulled a goal back in the 71st minute.

“I am satisfied with the way my players showed in the first half. We created several chances in the first half but my players took their opponents for granted in the second half,” Esteghlal coach Winfried Schafer said in the post-match news conference.

Esteghlal will play arch rival Persepolis in Tehran derby on Friday in Iran Professional League.

“I know Persepolis are one of the Iran’s greatest team but we will be ready for this match,” the German coach added.

Persepolis will play Naft Tehran in Hazfi Cup’s Round of 16 on Saturday.

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