Ivankovic plays down "favorites" tag in Iran's Hazfi Cup

Source: Xinhua| 2019-02-18 10:00:20|Editor: Chengcheng
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TEHRAN, Feb. 17 (Xinhua) -- Iran's Persepolis soccer coach Branko Ivankovic has played down his team "favorites" tag in Iran's Hazfi Cup, the Tehran Times daily reported on Sunday.

The Reds will host Padideh on Monday in Tehran's Azadi Stadium in the quarterfinals round.

The winners of the match will face Sepahan in Isfahan.

"We are not favorites to win the title not because we don't want to win the match. Hazfi Cup is different from the league and it's so unpredictable," Ivankovic said in the pre-match news conference on Sunday.

"Iran's first division team Damash have advanced to the final match by beating league team Saipa and it shows that you should not take nothing for granted in Hazfi Cup. There is tough task ahead because we need to beat powerhouse teams Padideh and Sepahan to reach the final match," the Croat added.

"Persepolis are going to win the title and will do our best. However, we feel the pressure because of league's time table. I don't want to criticize the organizers but I think the schedule has gone against us," Ivankovic concluded.

Hazfi Cup is the Iranian soccer knockout cup competition, run by the Iranian Football Federation.

Persepolis have claimed the title five times.