Thursday, September 19, 2013
Last Weekend's Wrap
Indonesia’s second tier Divisi Utama took centre stage of the weekend with the play offs to decide the champions and runners up.
Persebaya Surabaya met Perseru Serui in the final played at the Manahan Stadium in Solo, Central Java, and triumphed 2-0 with a brace from JP Boumsong giving him an impressive tally of 18 goals for the season.
Both teams earned promotion though it was Persebaya who lifted the trophy in front of their 10,000 travelling fans.
In the other game Persik Kediri defeated Persikabo Bogor 6-2 to join Persebaya and Perseru in the Indonesia Super League while Persikabo must jump one more hurdle, a further play off against the 15th placed team in the ISL.
Meanwhile, in the ISL itself Persipura Jayapura had long since snapped up the title for the third time in five years; the other two campaigns had seen the Black Pearls finish runners up.
In their second last game of the season Persipura effortlessly brushed aside Persita Tangerang 4-0.
With Arema Indonesia securing second place in the league all eyes were on the foot of the table for more ghoulish reasons.
PSPS Pekanbaru have been truly woeful in the second half of the capmpaign. With relegation confirmed all they had to play for was pride but there has been precious little of that. Their 8-2 crushing away to Mitra Kukar Kutai Kartanegara, for who former PSM Makassar striker ljia Spasojevic hit five, was their 10th straight defeat on the bounce. A run that has seen them concede 52 goals.
Not to long ago, Persiwa Wamena were invincible at their Pendidikan Stadium in the Papuan Highlands.
Before last May just two teams had gone into the Wamena Valley and returned with three points in five years. Since then they have lost six of their last nine home games, earning themselves relegation in the process and seeing the fans desert them; their 3-2 defeat at home to Persib Bandung was witnessed by less than a 1,000 souls.
Another Papuan side, Persidafon Dafonsoro are also relegated leaving Pelita Bandung Raya and Persita sweating over a play off date with Persikabo.
Pelita Bandung Raya’s last game is away to Persiba Balikpapan who have only just secured their own ISL status following their 4-2 win over Sriwijaya Palembang, while Persita must face Persiwa in their final game of the season.
Given Persiwa’s hapless end to the season, and the luxury of a one point cushion over PBR, Persita will fancy themselves slight favourites to stay up but stranger things have been known to happen in Indonesian football.
Strange things happening in Singapore as well with unfancied Balestier Khalsa lifting the League Cup after defeating Brunei side DPMM 4-0.
New Zealand striker Paul Cunningham opened the scoring on 13 minutes before Min Oh Kim made it 2-0 on 34 minutes. Two more goals in the second half, by Poh Yi Peng and Teuku Mushadad ended Balestier Khalsa’s trophy drought.
After the game their Australian coach, Darren Stewart, credited his team’s performance describing their performance as ‘breathtaking’.
North of the Causeway in Malaysian state of Pahang, the Malaysian Under 23 team lifted the Merdeka Cup, defeating Myanmar Under 23 2-0 in the final.
Their reward is a trip to Bandung, West Java, where they will be lining up against local heroes Persib, Sriwijaya and A League team Central Coast Mariners for the Menpora Cup.
Malaysia Under 23, also known as Harimau Muda ‘A’, there is a B and a C as well, have spent much of 2013 playing club sides Slovakia as they seek to defend the South East Asian Games title they won in 2009 and 2011.
COMMENT - apologies for the delay, cock up on the publishing front!
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