Namjoo blames tiredness, ref. errors for Esteghlal ACL fall

TEHRAN, Sep. 27 (MNA) – Esteghlal FC’s head coach Majid Namjoo Motlagh pointed to the tiredness of players and errors of the referee as reasons for falling short against Uzbekistan’s Pakhtakor in the 2020 ACL Round of 16.

In a match on Saturday, the Blues conceded a 2-1 defeat in a night when they failed to show the same vibe as their previous match which ended in a 3-0 victory.

Ali Karimi opened the scoring for the Iranian teams 32 minutes into the game from the free-kick, however, it took 11 minutes for the Uzbek team to equalize the match by Dragan Ceran’s header. Erin Deriyok gave Pakhtakor the lead a few minutes into the second half.

The Uzbek team controlled the possession for most of the second half as Esteghlal players were seemed tired and unfocused.

“It was a very good game. We were forced to make some changes because of some injured players and also due to fatigue. Based on the circumstances, I am satisfied with the performance of players because they put all their efforts,” Majid Namjoo Motlagh said after the game.

“We could have won the game. In one or two instances, the referee made mistake, especially, when he did not whistle for our penalty. Also, players believe that there had been a foul (committed by Uzbek side) before their first goal,” added the coach.

Now, Persepolis remains the only Iranian representative in the 2020 AFC Champions League Round of 16 as the Reds will take on Qatar’s Al Sadd on Sunday.


News Code 164018


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