Sunday, October 01, 2017


Madura United End Persipura's Five Year Unbeaten Run

Something very strange happened yesterday at the Mandala Stadium in Jayapura. Home side Persipura lost. It doesn't happen very often. In fact the last time the supporters saw their side lose  home league game was 13 May 2012! More than five years ago.

Since then Persipura have been pretty well unplayable on their own patch. 

50 41 9 0 132-31 

That run ended after half an hour against Madura United when Aussie import Dane Milovanovic scored the only goal of the game and keep his side hanging on to the coat tails of leaders Bhayangkara. It was their sixth win on the spin.

How Persipura must be wishing for some of that consistency, that same consistency that has been the hallmark of much of their success over the last decade or so.

The Black Pearls have just one win in their last five games and their blank sheet yesterday means they have gone 180 minutes without scoring a goal at home; truly a famine for their followers.

The malaise runs deeper with just three wins now in their last eight home games, this season's Persipura have a distinctly non Persipura look about them.

In their pomp they would be hitting sides for three or four or five, battering them into submission with their power and pace. This season has been different. Hell, even lowly Gresik United came away with a point.

It is difficult to know what is going on at the football club. There were suggestions at the start of the season they would struggle financially with one of their major sponsors less willing to stump up the cash and perhaps that is one reason why the team are struggling somewhat.

The core of the team is pretty much as it has been for years. Jae Hoon Yoo in goal, Ricardo Salempessy at the back, Ian Louis Kabes in the middle of the park and Boas Solossa up top. But they are aging, all in their 30s, even Boas, and coach Wanderley Junior has been looking to blood younger players, Osvaldo Haay and Marinus Wanewar spring to mind, in the first team to learn from the wizened old pros.

Persipura are fifth in Liga 1, nine points behind leaders Bhayangkara. In years past that wouldn't have been much of an issue. You would expect them to go on a winning run to nick the title at the last minute much like they did last year. Not this season. While they are struggling their rivals, PSM, Madura United and the leaders, are in a rich vein of form and that gap looks like expanding.

Next Friday they play Persela at home which could be just what they need. The East Java side have just one win from their travels this season...

UPDATE - after finishing this it was pointed out to me I had overlooked Persipura's 0-2 against Persib in last season's Indonesia Soccer Championship. As Homer Simpson might say, Doh!

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