Tehran Times - Esteghlal’s faint title challenge took another blow with a 1-1 draw here against Nassaji in Iran Professional League (IPL) on Thursday.
The Blues should have won the match if they wanted to keep their faint title hopes alive.
Cheick Diabate put Esteghlal into the lead from the penalty spot in the 40th minute but Mohammad Miri equalized the match with a long-range strike after two minutes.
The draw left Esteghlal 17 points behind arch rivals Persepolis who have one game in hands. From now on, Esteghlal must focus on winning a berth in the next season’s AFC Champions League.
In Mashhad, Tractor were held to a 0-0 draw by Shahr Khodro and also missed their chances of winning the title for the first time ever.
Rock-bottom Shahin drew 1-1 with Saipa in Bushehr, Paykan and Pars Jonoubi played out a goalless draw in Tehran and Sepahan edged Sanat Naft 1-0 in Isfahan.
Gol Gohar defeated Machine Sazi 2-1 in Tabriz and the result leaves them three points above the drop zone.
Persepolis will win the title with a draw against Naft Masjed Soleyman on Friday.