Monday, March 02, 2020
Liga 2 Runners Up Persita Hold Champions Bali
Football's back and we can now look forward to another season of joy unbounded, tears unlimited and dreams unrealised as Liga 1 seeks to take us on another rollercoaster ride of chaos, violence and yes some romance we hope.
For a start we have three promoted teams in the top flight. Persik were crowned Liga 2 champions last season and make a welcome return to the top table. For me they will always be associated with the three amigos, Gonzalez, Fagundez and Fernando but those days are long gone. The swagger of the 2006 champions will probably be replaced by a more pragmatic approach as staying up will be there main target.
With the exception of Atjeh United in the short lived, nonlamented LPI there has been no side from Bander Aceh at the top table since I took an active interest in the local football scene so it's good to see Persiraja promoted. Over 26000 saw them hold Bhayangkara in their opening home game... let's hope they can maintain that interest for the season.
Closer to home for me a least and welcome back Persita. They've had a torrid time of late being forced to play home games anywhere from Banten to West Java but now they have their own new ground to go with their promotion and a 0-0 draw away to Bali United was an encouraging start to life back at the top.
Actually there is a fourth new name in Liga 1 this season. Tira Persikabo have dropped any pretence of being an army team and will be henceforth known as Persikabo 1973. Whether they have any connection with the Persikabo which played in Liga 3 last season or if they're just the latest Incarnation of Persiram I don't know. I do know I have just returned from Pakansari Stadium having seen Persikabo lose 2-0 at home to Arena and there seemed to be a fair few Kabomania and Persikabo Ultras in attendance which I hope bodes well for the future.
What that future will be remains to be seen. Today Indonesia announced its first coronavirus victims and there are suggestions upcoming games could be cancelled or played behind closed doors. Which is a shame really because I was looking forward to catching Persita take on PSM on Friday!