Sunday, April 25, 2010


Indonesia Super League Title Race

Yesterday's three points for Persipura against Arema means that with each team having five games left to play there are just four points separating them at the top.

1 - Arema 29 19 3 7 43-14 60
2 - Persipura 29 15 11 3 56-29 56

Both teams end the season with three home games and two away. The away games, as ever in Indonesia, will be crucial. Persipura, distracted by an irrelevant AFC Champions League tie midweek, have to play Persib Bandung next weekend followed by Sriwijaya. Neither will be easy. Both teams are hurting after expensively assembled squads failed to make any real impact on the title race.

Neither concede much at home. Persib have won 11 and drawn one of their 12 home games, conceding a miserly six goals along the way. Sriwijaya have drawn three and lost one. Fans there expect to win and you can be sure they will not allow their teams to stumble.

Arema have to travel to Jakarta and Pekanbaru. Their last game of the season is at Bung Karno against Persija and if the title rests on that game they could have 10,000 fans travelling for the game. Persija have only pride to play for but if you ask their fans I think they would be quite happy to see Arema crowned champions.

Crucially ahead of their final game at home to Persiwa (?!) Persipura will have a 10 day break at home. No such luck for Arema who first have to travel to Pekanbaru to take on the meanest home defence in the league before their game against Persija.

A gentle home run then for Persipura against three teams with among the worst away records in the league; just one win each and Persiwa's was awarded to them after their game against Persija was cancelled at the last minute.

If Persipura get nothing from their last two away games the race could be over, assuming Arema collect maximum points at home.

It's proving to be a fascinating run in with uniquely Indonesian factors thrown in to the mix. Where's that fence?

Remaining Games

02/05 Persib v Persipura
04/05 Arema v Persela
05/05 Sriwijaya v Persipura
16/05 Arema v Persisam, Persipura v Persebaya
19/05 Arema v Bontang, Persipura v Persik
26/05 PSPS v Arema
30/05 Persija v Arema, Persipura v Persiwa

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