Sunday, August 10, 2008


Thriller in Palembang

Against all the odds Persija maintained their 100% record and moved to the top of the ISL, at least for a couple of hours, after a hard fought victory against Sriwijaya at Jakabaring Stadium.

In truth Persija weren't at their best with sloppy passing at the back handing the inititative to double winners Sriwijaya. It was a surprise then when they took the lead through Greg Nwkolo. Minutes earlier, in one of many odd refereeing decisions, Hendro Kartiko was yellow carded for wasting time.

Second half saw the hosts pen Persija in their own half and roared on by a passionate full house you felt there would only be one winner.

A penalty enraged the whole Persija team with captain Bambang Pamungkas leading the protests and getting a yellow for his trouble. Keith Kayamba made no mistake from the spot and it was 1-1.

Sriwijaya kept pressing but with injury time winding down former Cameroonian international Pierre Njanka sent a long ball forward that will have Sriwijaya coach Rahmad Darmawan shaking his head for the rest of the season.

Goalie Dede, replacing Ferry Rotinsulu, and defender left the bouncing ball for each other and a gleeful Nwokolo prodded the free ball over the line.

In difficult circumstances Persija escaped with three points after a below par performance against a tough team and they now lead the ISL with 12 points from four games.

As well as Bambang and Hendro, Nwokolo was booked for simulation, sorry diving, while Herman Abanda, Leo Saputra and someone else saw yellow.


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