2354196

Branko Ivankovic apologizes following defeat against Esteghlal

(IranSportsPress.com-TehranTimes)- Branko Ivankovic has apologized to Persepolis fans following the Reds’ defeat at the hands of Esteghlal.

Persepolis suffered a 3-2 defeat against their arch rivals Esteghlal in Tehran derby in front of more than 70,000 spectators at the Azadi Stadium.

“I am so sorry we could not make our fans happy in the biggest match of the Iran football. I cannot criticize my players because they did their best in this match,” Branko said in the post-match news conference.

“Esteghlal created a few chances and scored three times. Our players were ready for this match but I have to say we lost to a very good team. I believe that two teams played a good football but Esteghlal were better,” the Croat added.

“From now on, we concentrate on Sepahan match. Sepahan has been one of the best Iranian teams in the past 10 years. It will be a difficult match for us without a doubt,” he said.

“We have to be ready for AFC Champions League match against Al Hilal of Saudi Arabia as well. Persepolis have been drawn in a tough group in the competition,” Branko said.