Rajabzadeh double extends Zob IPL leadership

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IRNA - Mehdi Rajabzadeh struck twice Tuesday to help Zob Ahan extend its winning streak and leadership in the third Iran Pro League.
After an uneventful first half, the game came alive two minutes after the interval when Rajabzadeh latched on to a cross in the six-yard area and slid the ball past Esteqlal goalkeeper Parviz Boroumand.
But Zob was pegged back 13 minutes later as referee Jalal Moradi awarded Esteqlal a penalty for a handball by Reza Azizi. The blues` right winger Mohammad Navazi converted.
The home fans hugged each other in Lenjan stadium, Isfahan Province, in the 68th minute as a carbon copy of handball by Esteqlal skipper Mahmoud Fekri prompted the ref to show the spot.
Rajabzadeh scored his own and Zob`s second from the spot, handing the Isfahani team a 2-1 win in the fifth week.
Zob is the league leader with 15 points and Esteqlal has eight points, occupying the fifth place.

Persepolis remained in the second spot although it was held at home by the Isfahan-based Sepahan to a see-saw 3-3 tie in the 100,000-seater Azadi Stadium, west of Tehran, Tuesday.
Persepolis striker Reza Jabbari fired home a corner in the crowded area after 32 minutes, prompting over 50,000 partisan fans to wave flags and blew horns.
But Sepahan, the second IPL champion, stunned the reds in a flash as Asghar Talebnassab netted a rebound following a six-yard melee in the 38th minute and forward Edmond Bezik converted a penalty awarded by referee Massoud Moradi for a trip from Persepolis defender Hassan Khanmohammadi in the box one minute later.
Playing a crowd-pleasing game, the two sides attacked after the interval but it was the goalscorer Bezik, who grabbed his second and Sepahan`s third on 48 minutes with an unstoppable low drive from a
nicely floated ball into the area from the fast-paced nimble striker Mahmoud Karimi.
Persepolis minimized the gap four minutes later when substitute Ali Salmani headed home an Ebrahim Assadi corner. Honors were even as the reds` import Issa Traore salvaged a point
against Sepahan, rifling a powerful shot past the hands of advancing
keeper Ershad Youssefi and defender Mohammad-Reza Mahdavi in the goalmouth in the 72nd minute.
Persepolis was down to 10 men for the last 15 minutes of the fifth-week match after the right winger Younes Bahonar received his marching orders for a second bookable offense.

Barq defeated promoted Shamoushak
of Noshahr, northern province of Mazandaran, in the fifth week of the third Iran Pro League here Tuesday.
Alireza Abbassifard was the toast of Barq as he scored in the second and 88th minutes, sealing his side`s 2-1 victory over northerners.
The visitor grabbed the equalizer 20 minutes from the time when Behrouz Pak-Niyat slotted home.
Barq and Shamoushak missed three penalties. Abbassifard`s kick from the spot was sent out by the visitor`s goalie in the 24th minute and Barq keeper Mehdi Abbassi superbly saved two penalties by Abbas Shokati and Reza Moslemzadeh in 47th and 63rd minutes.
Assisted by Reza Sokhandan and Jahangir Heidari, referee Mohsen Torki judged the match.
Shamoushak is in the 11th place with four points and Barq is one spot below on goal difference.

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