Cast your mind back a week and we were looking forward to the end of the Persian Gulf Pro League over in Iran. Although nothing major was to be decided with both the Champions and relegated teams confirmed, the AFC Cup qualification spots were still up for grabs with three teams fighting it out for two spots with only one point separating all three!
Top meets Bottom
Both Zob Ahan and Esteghal occupied the qualifying spots with one game to go and both faced similarly simple tasks on paper, a trip to two of the three.
Top of the list going into the last weekend were Zob Ahan and they had the simple task, win. They travelled to already relegated Neft Tehran and limped to a 0-1 victory away from home.
A first half goal from Kiros was enough to take the spoils and ultimately finish top of the qualification tree.
Even though Neft Tehran hadn’t won in their previous nine, it was still a battle, maybe Esteghal would not make the same mistake of only relying on the one goal in their must win fixture against a bottom three side in Sepahan?
The answer to that was of course they did! It seemed they were ready to deliver when Thiam put the AFC hopefuls one to the good on ten minutes. Knowing Sepahan had scored atleast once in their last four, maybe they would go for the kill. That wasn’t the case and luckily for them it was enough.
Saipa finished the season joint on points with Esteghal and missed on qualification spots due to an inferior goal difference. They had the hardest task of the three on the last weekend, a trip to fifth placed Peykan.
Half an hour in it was all rosy as they raced into a two goal lead. At this point, they were in third spot due to Zob Ahan still drawing 0-0. Pass forward an hour and they had managed to scrape a 1-0 win.
This meant their own 1-2 victory was not enough and they missed out, always next season right?
We Will Rock You
So enough of the what could of happened and lets look at where the entertainment really was. One game caught the eye in a round of lacklustre fixtures to say the least.
Step forward Sanat-Naft and Esteghal Khuzestan. The teams traded goals back and forth for the full game in an entertaining 3-3 draw.
To put that in to perspective, their was only 10 goals in the other seven games put together!
A Champions Way Out
There is always something nice about the Champions playing their final game at home. Persepolis welcomed Sepidrood Rasht the only way they knew.
A 3-0 thrashing seemed fitting of the occasion, a trophy lifted with three goals to go with it. In fact, they were the only team to win at home over the weekend.
Some say coincidence, we say Champions.