Thursday, May 12, 2011
Sriwijaya The Hard Way
Sriwijaya finally made it through to the least 16 of the AFC Cup but they did it the hard way, keeping their fans on tenterhooks right to the death against TSW Pegasus.
Leading 2-1 with about 24 minutes to go Sriwijaya were through. All they had to do was see out the last few minutes. But things are never that easy in Indonesian football. The Hong Kong side did their bit to soothe home team tensions by having a player sent off but then they went and equalised which wasn't what the home team wanted.
For 13 minutes Sriwijaya were out. A draw was not good enough to keep them in the top two and see them qualify, they had to win.
Luckily they have their own get out of jail card. His name is Keith Kayamba and wile he maybe only just younger than me not for the last time he was able to rescue his team.
A cross from the left, he rose majestically and nodded goalwards. Good save by the keeper but in came Dirga to gleefully ram home the rebound and with two minutes on the clock Sriwijaya were back in the lead. This time they kept it.
They finish second and join Persipura, Chonburi, Muang Thong United, Tampines Rovers and Song Lam Nghe An in the Group of 16 which will be played over one leg.
24/05 - Arbil v Tampines Rovers
24/05 - Muang Thong United v Al Ahed
25/05 - Song Lam Nghe An v Persipura
25/05 - Chonburi v Sriwijaya