Esteghlal overcame Shahin Bushehr in a penalty shootout to be crowned Iran’s 2011-12 Hazfi Cup winners after a soporific game failed to yield any openings in 120 minutes.
The Tehran Blues added to their silverware cabinet with a sixth Hazfi Cup and booked a place in the next year’s Asian Champions League after seeing off Bushehr 4-1 in the decisive spot kicks at the Hafezieh Stadium of Shiraz on Thursday.
Chances were few and far between in the game and the closest either team came to breaking the deadlock from open play was in the first half when Hadi Shakouri of Shahin rattled the post with a header.
The game, however, had to produce a winner no matter how cautious both teams were in their bids to venture for such a prize, and it was ultimately the fateful spotkicks that separated the two sides and determined the winner of this season’s cup.
The Blues proved to be the superior side with all four of their penalty takers converting from the spot, while only one of the three Shahin players stepping behind the ball withstood the pressure and summoned the necessary composure to score.
While Shirin Faraz Kermanshah, Mehr Karaj, Persepolis, and Shahrdari Yasuj were Esteghlal’s other victims in its road to winning the trophy, Shahin flew past Nirooye Zamini, Aboomosleme Khorasan, Damash Gilan and Mes Kerman in its own trajectory to the decider.