Tehran Times – MASHHAD, Tractor football team defeated Esteghlal 3-2 to win Iran’s Hazfi Cup in a hectic final on Thursday for the second time.
Star-studded Tractor had claimed the title for the first time in 2014 and seize the accolade once again after six years.
Tractor got direct entry to next year’s AFC Champions League as the Hazfi Cup winners and Esteghlal will have to participate in ACL qualifying play-offs.
Mohammadreza Khanzadeh gave the lead Tractor in the 17th minute in Mashhad’s Emam Reza Stadium.
Tractor midfielder Ashkan Dejagah made it 2-0 in the 34th minute and Akbar Imani scored Tractor’s third goal in the 41st minute.
Mehdi Ghaedi reduced the deficit for Esteghlal six minutes into the second half and substitute Arsalan Motahari scored Esteghlal’s second goal in the 79th minute.
Soon after, Esteghlal put Tractor under pressure but failed to score the equalizer.
Esteghlal are the most decorated football team in Hazfi Cup, winning seven titles.
“We deserved to win the title and I would like to congratulate our fans. I wish Tractor continued success in the competitions ahead,” Tractor coach Saket Elhami said.