Tuesday, May 02, 2017


With Cole & Essien Dropped, Persib Return To Winning Ways

Liga 1 

Semen Padang v Persipura 1-0 (Rico Simanjuntak) 8,613

Madura United v Mitra Kukar 2-2 (Peter Odemwingie, Dane Milanovic; Marclei Santos, Anindito Erminano) 4,618

If we are looking for a marquee player who has settled quickly into life in Indonesia it is probably Russian born, Nigerian international Peter Odemwingie. He opened the scoring for Madura United against Mitra Kukar for his second goal in three games. However Madura were unable to hold on to the points as the visitors came from behind twice, Anindito equalising eight minutes from t he end. For Madura it was another disappointing attendance at their new Ratu Pamelingan Stadium.

Persib v Sriwijaya 2-0 (Atep, Febri Haryadi) 21,584

If Michael Essien and Carlton Cole thought they were going to be shoo ins for Persib after their big money moves they are sadly mistaken. After two draws and drawing flack from disappointed Bobotoh, Djadjang Nurdjaman rung the changes for the big game with Sriwijaya, dropping both imports and giving a first start to Raphael Maitimo in the midfield. In came the exciting Febri Haryadi and Gian Zola in a youthful midfield while in the continuing absence of Sergio van Dijk Tantan was started up top.

It was though a trusty old warhorse, Atep, who have the home side the lead on 12 minutes and the promising Febry who made it safe 2ith 18 minutes on the clock. Essien came on with 11 minutes left but these Persib fans are no respecters of reputations,,.a bigger cheer welcomed Billy Keraf who had dazzled on his debut last week against PS TNI. Cole? Nowhere to be seen.

Despite this welcome win Djadjang after the game said there were no guarantees those involved would feature in their next game away to Persegres midweek. No decisions would be made until after the last training session

PSM v Persija 1-0 (Willem Pluim) 12,670

When Persija defeated Persiba 2-0 in their opening game of the surely, the fans must have been thinking, the corner had been turned. This was a veritable goal glut compared to what the faithful had endured last season. But no, it is not be to. At least not yet. They followed that win with a draw at home to Barito Putera and defeat here in Makassar means much of that opening day optimism has been washed away.

PSM it must be said are one of the favourites to win the Liga 1. Robert Alberts turn around of the club has been quite remarkable and the signing of Pluim, who joined in the second half of last season is looking to be an astute piece of business. This was his second g oal of the game and while some teams have gone for true big names with an age north of 30 in the twilight of their career Pluim is at the peak of his powers and can only get better as he beds into life in Indonesia.

Barito Putera v Perseru 2-0 (Valentino Telaubun, Aaron Evans) 7,808

Bhayangkara v PS TNI 1-2 (Dinan Javier; Aboubacar Syalla, Elio Matins) 4,850 (Match Report)

Persiba v Arema 0-1 (Didik Setiawan) 20,000

This was probably Persiba's largest ever home crowd. Unfortunately all were Arema fans who had made the short journey from their front door to the centrally located Gajayana Stadium to see their heroes take on Persiba. Didik scored his second of the season to finish the scoring and after the game Persiba coach Timo Scheunemann stepped down following his team's third defeat in three games.

Persela v Bali United 0-1 (Marcos Flores) 11,800

I wonder of the Bali United directors are patting themselves on the back. Last week they axed Hans Peter Schaller as coach after two losses. In comes the caretaker and straight away they pick up three points on a road trip.

Borneo v Gresik United 3-0 (Eliandry Lerby, Shane Smeltz, Flavio Junior)

Despite earning a surprise point after drawing 1-1 away to Persipura in the first game of the season Gresik have gone on to lose their last two games. However the club don't seem to be in a rush to follow other clubs who have dispensed with their coach. Rather, after the game the assistant manager said there was to be no change of coach, preferring to call in the players to recover for their next game against Persib.

They, and the other clubs who have acted in haste, may want to look at the example of Borneo who stuck by their coach Dragan Dukanovic despite failing to win the Indonesia Soccer Championship, the UEFA Champions League or the World Cup in his first season. Instead he was allowed to do his job and despite his frequent protestations about match officials, despite winning 3-0 he still had a pop, he has got on with his job quietly and efficiently.

This workmanlike result was enough to see Borneo climb to seventh in the table but he will know tougher tasks await. Persipura away tonight!

1 - Semen Padang 3 2 1 0 5-2 7
2 - PSM Makassar 3 2 1 0 5-2 7
3 - Barito Putera 3 2 1 - 5-2 7
4 - Arema            3 2 1 - 3-0 7

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