Sunday, October 08, 2017


Goals Galore For East Kalimantan Sides

Mitra Kukar aren't the best travellers in Liga 1. With just two wins from their travels all season they faced a Gresik United side licking its wounds having conceded 15 goals in its previous three games. Games like this are notoriously tricky to predict, will the home side suddenly decide to put on a show for their disconsolate home fans, will pride kick in or will Mitra Kukar just take advantage of a side low on confidence and batter them?

The Gresik fans didn't care either way. Following their 7-1 humiliation away to Persela last time out they stayed home. They missed Jusmadi give their side the lead on 15 minutes and the handful that did make the effort enjoyed seeing their side in the lead for a whole six minutes before Marclei Santos made it 1-1 with his 10th in 10 games. When Yusgiantoro restored the lead on the 45th minute the supporters could savour the whole half time in the lead.

Six minutes into the second half and the dream was over when Septian David Maulana levelled and two goals from Anindito Erminarno just left hapless Gresik with that deja vu feeling again.

For Mitra Kukar and the other teams from East Kalimantan though it was a good start to the weekend. Persiba travelled to Bekasi to face the league leaders Bhayangkara and wouldn't have been expecting much, especially when they conceded three early goals. However there is some fight about this team now, a fight that was noticeably absent earlier in the season, and a brace from Anmar Al Mubaraki in the last seven minutes of the first half set up a nervy second half for the league leaders. 

Bhayangkara held on for the victory but Persiba pushed them all the way and can return to Balikpapan with a sense of pride. When they met earlier in the season Bhayangkara coach Simon McMenemy praised the efforts of the Honey Bears on their own patch after his team emerged with a victory and again they put in a shift against a strong team. Whether it will be enough to keep them in Liga 1 next season remains to be seen but they aren't going down without a fight.

Meanwhile Borneo returned to Samarinda after playing their last home game in Bontang, and welcomed PSM and their own supporters to Segiri Stadium. Goals from Matheus Enrique and Terens Puhiri had the Pusamania purring before Marc Klok pulled one back from the penalty spot before half time. 

Lerby Eliandry restored the two goal cushion on 51 minutes to break his four game goal drought and Borneo appeared to be cruising to a comfortable victory over the title challengers from Makassar before the visitors' captain Hamka Hamzah scored with five minutes to set up a white knuckle ride for the home fans before the ref blew for the final whistle.

An exciting weekend of football for the East Kalimantan sides but there is little change to Liga 1 for them with Mitra Kukar and Borneo remaining mid table and Persiba nine points from safety.

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