PFED - Perhaps they were technically not the most accomplished team in the league, and certainly when it comes to individual players skills, they did lack behind in quality compared to the few other top IPL teams, but there is no denying that this team worked as a cohesive unit, had the perseverance and determination of a unique kind and last but not least they were the more determined to win the championship.
This fighting character of Pesrpolis was no where more evident than their win against Saipa a few days back. Many teams would have lost stamina and determination after loosing a two goal lead and being threatened by defeat and certain loss of championship, but not Perspolis. The players bounced back and fought well to score and clinch the match 4-2. That should have been the most serious warning for Esteghlal that the reds will not give it up so easily.
For their sheer determination and perseverance. For their will power and comradeship, for their resolve, discipline and attitude this team is worthy of the first IPL championship.
No team matched them in these qualities.
With the huge off-field problems including court cases that faced Pesrpolis club on matters of ownership and shareholding, it was evident that its effects trickled to the playing fields and hence some poor results were registered. However, that was all a storm in a pan and the real championship qualities of the team began to emerge soon after the off-field problems were sorted out.
On the contrast, Esteghlal performances were soul-less. Highly undisciplined team which lies near the bottom of the Fair-Play table can not be recognized as champions. The disciplinary records of their best players like Navazi and Vahedi-Nikbakht was a clear indication that all is not too well with Esteghlal. There were all sort of stories in the media about playing fighting each other during practice sessions or matches. The discontent of bench players did not fair well either. Rumors of players, coaches and other personnel leaving the club destabilized the club.
They certainly lacked Perspolis resolve and determination. Although they have a better strength in depth and players than most of the League clubs, they could not capitalize on that.
They were probably the most inconsistent team. Defeats at the wrong time and against weaker opposition was the catalyst in losing a certain championship. No where was that more evident than the last game against Malavan, who only a few days earlier had been slaughtered by Pas with mercy by five goals to nil. A team that can not beat a near to the bottom team can not be real championship contenders.
Congratulation to Perspolis….and that should be a lesson to many aspiring clubs. There is more to football than stars and skills. Perspolis had that edge that others did not possess.
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