Esteghlal to face Golgohar, Foolad playing Malavan in Hazfi Cup semis


Sports Desk  

Esteghlal will square off against Golgohar Sirjan in the Hazfi Cup semifinals at Tehran’s Azadi Stadium on August 4.
The draw for the last-four stage of the Iranian domestic cup competition took place on Monday, where Foolad Khuzestan was pitted against second-tier side Malavan Bandar Anzali.
Malavan, one of the most decorated teams in the history of the competition, beat Kheybar Khorramabad in the shootout, following a goalless draw, on Saturday to book their place in the semis.
Esteghlal will be heading into the clash against their former manager Amir Qalenoei on the back of a shootout victory over arch-rivals Persepolis, as Farhad Majidi’s men are eager to finish their decent season, which has seen them secure a third-place finish in the league, with silverware.
The last time these two sides met, the Tehran-based Blues beat Qalenoei’s side 2-0 in the league at home in late June, courtesy of early strikes by Mohammad-Hossein Moradmand and Mehdi Mehdipour.
Meanwhile, Foolad, also shootout winners against Sepahan in the quarterfinals, will be looking to book a place in next season’s AFC Champions League (ACL) by lifting the trophy in the August 8 final.
While only the top three in the league will be guaranteed a spot in the Asian elite clubs’ competition, Foolad are trailing fourth-placed Golgohar by a single point, heading into the final round of fixtures on Friday.
Should Esteghlal win the Hazfi Cup, the fourth team in the league table will be granted an ACL spot.