IPL leader Sepahan beats Persepolis on controversial penalty

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IRNA - Foulad-e Sepahan of Isfahan extended its leadership in the second Iran Pro League (IPL) as it defeated
Persepolis on a controversial penalty here on Thursday. In a 10th-week match of IPL, the home side Sepahan managed to overcome the defending champion Persepolis 2-1 in front of over 30,000 flag-waving passionate spectators in Naqsh-e Jahan Stadium of Isfahan, bringing its points to 28.
In the 23rd minute, Edmond Bezik, a former player of Persepolis, dived to head home, putting the yellow-clad Sepahan ahead. Persepolis secured the parity after 16 minutes into the second half when the reds' right winger Ali Ansarian side-footed an Aref Mohammadvand corner past the goalmouth.
Four minutes from the normal time, Sepahan players, coaches, and fans went wild with applause and the reds strongly opposed to the decision of referee Jalal Moradi as he showed the penalty spot.
Sepahan striker, who received a superb pass in the area was brought down by defender Behrouz Rahbarifar. The reds believed Bezik was offside.
Moharram Navidkia wrong-footed goalkeeper Davoud Fanaei and converted the penalty giving his side an invaluable, spirit-raising 2-1 win over popular Persepolis.
Persepolis is still at the second place with 20 points. The IPL matches will continue on Friday, January 3, as follows:
* Esteqlal of Tehran vs Zob Ahan of Isfahan
Ref: Khodadad Afsharian
Linesmen: Hatam Bakpour & Shoja'at Mohammadi
* Foulad of Khuzestan vs Paykan of Tehran
Ref: Mohsen Qahremani
Linesmen: Abdolkarim Sistani & Heidar Shakour
* Malavan of Bandar Anzali vs SAIPA of Tehran
Ref: Ali Khosravi
Linesmen: Hamid Sabet & Alireza Kahouri
* Barq of Shiraz vs Abu Moslem of Khorasan
Ref: Iraj Nazari
Linesmen: Esmaeil Safiri & Akbar Kiani
* San'at Naft of Abadan Esteqlal of Ahvaz
Ref: Hossein Arab-Boraqi
Linesmen: Alireza Rajabloo & Iraj Shahrizadegan