Monday, December 28, 2009


Persipasi v Persires 2-1

I've always got a buzz out of going to a new stadium and yesterday was no exception. Persipasi are based in Bekasi, one of Jakarta's many staelittes and with it being a holiday weekend getting there was a breeze.

We pulled into a car park where there were donkey rides and other amusements and could see a fair few fans already in the stadium.

Tickets cost 15,000 IDR, about 1.50 USD or the same price I paid for the big title game in Thailand between Muang Thong United and Chonburi. There was also a big crowd and my feet were killing me. Just like that game in Thailand.

The tiny main stand was packed and people were entering the stadium all through the first half as Persipasi attempted to go to the top of the Premier League, Group 1.

Not an auspicious start for the home side who missed the verteran Stephen Mennoch who was suspended but on the field they were the bightest of the two with Arif Sarifudin looking lively down the left flank and Mansyur showing good touches in the penalty area.

After having a defender carried off early doors, it may have been former international Firmansyah, Persipasi took the lead when a free kick from th elead was nodded home by Erick Senaen.

Just seven minutes later and Mansyur made it two nil and the home side looked to be coasting.

But they lost another player to injury and allowed the bottom side from somewhere in Sumatra to claw their way back in the game. To be honest when half time came I was pretty sure there would be more goals in the game and they would come from the home side. Persires, I was convinced, had recruited some of the donkeys from the car park and were ripe for plucking.

Second half though Persipasi sat back and let Persires come at them. Bad move. Paases went astray. no one could hold the ball up and it seemed a matter of time before the unthinkable would happen,

76' to be precise when Ade Abdullah got one back. The fans in themain stand responded with chants to replace the keeper which seemed stoopid. It was the defence and midfield who were standing off and making mistakes.

The visitors number 22 manhandled one Persipasi striker to the ground and it should have been a straight red but the ref flashed yellow. The offnder wasn't impressed nad went for the ref, chest puffed out and a nasty melee followed. He should have walked, if not for the challenge then the near assault on the official and he was quite right after the final whistle to rush up to the ref and give him a big, hot, sweaty, smelly hug.

Persipasi hung on for an unconvincing win but three points is till three points and they will be hoping Mennoch returns for them on Wednesday when they host 4th placed Persih.

More good news for Persipasi could be on the way with news that JP Boumsong and Alex Robinson could be arriving in time for the second round of fixtures. Their current club, Persikad, look on the edge of implosion and they will prove a useful addition to the men from Patriot Stadium.

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