Wednesday, April 08, 2015


Late Goals And Late Kick Offs

Persela v Persija 1-0 (David Pagbe) 9,500

Persija must be wishing games only lasted 88 minutes. For the second time in four days they saw vital points slip from their grasp when Persela's David Pagbe scored the only goal of the game at Surajaya Stadium to give the home side the full three points.

On Saturday Persija went into injury time leading Arema 4-3 only for a last gasp penalty earned the home side a point.

So that is three points dropped in two away games in East Java, coach Rahmad Darmawan will be hoping playing in front of their own support in Jakarta can see them return to winning ways.

Persib v Pelita Bandung Raya 3-0 (Atep, Konate Makan, Taufiq) 8,742

PBR took to the field with a banner thanking the good folks of Bandung for their support over the last few seasons. They had hoped to use Siliwangi Stadium in the city for the new season but the ground has been deemed unfit so they are still scouting around for a new venue and hope to make an announcement before their first home game of the season on Monday.

That would be nice. Wouldn't do after all to make the announcement after the game, would it?

One local paper is making a big deal of the fact that new signing Ilija Spasojevic failed to score. So what? They won 3-0 but the paper runs with a sarcastic headline along the lines of  'Spaso Playing? I Didn't See Him.' Wonder what that was all about?

Two games, six points, two clean sheets. I don't think Persib are worrying too much.

Meanwhile Persib keeper I Made Wirawan is said to be recovering after taking a knock in the second half. Defender Vladimir Vujovic replaced him between the sticks for the last few minutes.

Sriwijaya v Semen Padang 2-2 (Raphael Maitimo, Ferdinand Sinaga; Nur Iskandar, Hendra Bayauw) 10,207

How you look at this result depends if you are a 'cup is half full, half empty' kind of guy'. The old adage in football is you win your home games and get what you can away. Sriwijaya dropped points for the second consecutive home game and with most football fans in this country being of the 'half empty' persuasion, coach Benny Dollo may take some solace in the knowledge the next couple of games see him take his expensively assembled side to PSM and Persiba.

As coach he may find the fact his team did come from behind twice a positive point, at least when talking to the media and the fans (he missed the press conference after the game so a moot point) but behind closed doors he will be fuming at going down at home twice.

Much is expected of Sriwijaya this season as my column in The Jakarta Globe says but a return of two points from the opening two games was most definitely on the agenda.

Arema v Barito Putera 1-0 (Fabiano Beltrame) 4,151

A new feature this season, in response to the demands of TV, is 9pm kick offs. This game kicked off at 9pm...check out the crowd.

For the second successive game Arema relied on new signing Fabiano to dig them out of a hole, the defender now has three goals in two games.

But while Arema will celebrate the three points there must be questions asked about 9pm. TV viewers want to see packed terraces and Arema in full voice is one of the finest to see. But they stayed away in their droves.

Kanjuruhan Stadium is a pain to get to from Malang, it is more than a half hour drive down narrow lanes and of course there is no public transport from the city centre. Indonesian fans are now learning, as English fans have, once you sell your soul to TV you start to lose the game.

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