Saturday, February 10, 2007


First game of the season

As far as game plans go it was simple and effective. Sriwijaya held out well in a tepid first half where shots on goal were at a premium and possession shared equally on the smooth looking Kediri pitch but in the second half the hosts cranked it up a gear.

Like a custard tsunami wave after wave of yellow shirted Kediri attackes probed the visitors flanks, looking for an accurate cross into the danger area. Ineveitably their target was the prolific Christian Gonzales. Inevitably they found him as he slipped his marker. Perhaps not so inevitably it took him an hour to beat the keeper but, inevitably, beat him he did, a powerful diving header that went through the hapless Freddy’s hands.

As Sriwijaya came out in search of the equalizer which perhaps their first half contribution deserved, they left themselves open to the counter attack led of course by the marauding Gonzales. On 78 minutes he had a possible penalty shout but as he was elbowed to the ground he got his shot off which had the keeper scrambling across the goal, relieved to see it just go past his left post.

With the Asian Champions League kicking off next month, it will be interesting to see whether clubs with deeper pockets come calling for the Uruguayan striker. Being selfish, I hope not. He adds real quality to the Indonesian League and is perhaps the one true superstar plying his trade here.

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