Saturday, June 03, 2017


Comeback Kings Mitra Kukar Shine Against PS TNI

Not for the first time this season we have seen Mitra Kukar come from behind to earn points in the most dramatic way. In fact this trend pre dates the season as those with long memories may recall a remarkable game against PSS in the President Cup when Mitra Kukar went 3-0 down only to claw their way back into the game and earn an unlikely draw with a late, late goal.

The unfashionable side from Tenggarong in East Kalimantan are currently 4th in Liga 1 after coming from behind to thrash PS TNI 5-3 last night in front of 1,554 fans. And yes, they were trailing 1-0 when Elio Martins gave the visitors the lead on 20 minutes. Mohamed Sissoko scored twice before half time and then two quick goals early in the second half (In Kyun Oh and Jorge Gotor) seemed to have made the game safe for the home side.

Martins scored his second on 64 minutes to set up a thrilling final quarter to the game but the Portuguese had to go in goal when Dhika Bayangkara was red carded on 75 minutes and when substitute Anindito Erminano made it 5-2 on 81 minutes it was game over. Facundo did pull one goal back for PS TNI but it was too little, too late. 

After the game PS TNI coach Ivan Kolev complained about the floodlights going out twice during the game saying once is ok but twice is unforgiveable. I'm sure had the result been reversed he would have worried less about the electrics. Anyway while his team have earned a reputation for providing plenty of goal mouth action a second loss on the road, with nine goals shipped along the way, suggest a leaky defence is of more concern than a few light bulbs.

For the record Mitra Kukar have come from behind to earn points against Persija (one point), Bali United (three points), Madura United (one point) and PSM (one point). That is a remarkable nine points gained after conceding the first goal and while coach Jafri Sastra may want to praise his side's mental strength he will also be aware this trend could come back and hurt them in the future.

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