TEHRAN, Feb. 3 (Mehr News Agency) -- Persepolis captain Karim Bagheri's winner goal sealed an important victory over Esteghlal at the Azadi Stadium on Wednesday. Persepolis football team defeated its arch rival Esteghlal 2-1 in the 26th week of Iran Professional League (IPL) in front of approximately 80,000 spectators.
First, Esteghlal captain Farhad Majidi gave a lead to his team in the 16th minute. Persepolis defenders failed to clear a straight long ball and unmarked Majidi rolled it through the legs of keeper Alireza Haghighi.
Later, Hadi Norouzi cancelled out Esteghlal's goal with eight minutes remaining to the break. Hamid Ali-Askar took advantage of the mistake of Esteghlal's Mehdi Amirabadi and properly set up the ball for Norouzi in the six yard zone and he opened the goal.
Persepolis was dominant in the second half and put Esteghlal under pressure. The Reds finally scored the winner goal when Esteghlal keeper Vahid Taleblou failed to save Bagheri's long range shot in the 87th minute.
"Persepolis deservedly won the match. I am satisfied with the way my players played. They put up a good performance in the derby. We should have defeated Esteghlal with three or four goals, but our strikers did not take advantage of the chances they got," Persepolis coach Ali Daei said in a post match interview.
Persepolis and Esteghlal have played against each other 68 times. 32 of the matches ended in a draw, Esteghlal won 20 times, and Persepolis was victorious in 16 matches.
With this result Persepolis moves up to third place of the IPL standings table with 43 points, and Esteghlal is fourth with three points fewer. Isfahani teams Sepahan and Zob Ahan are first and second respectively with 52 and 46 points.
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