Football Tribe Indonesia
PSM Makassar aimed to follow Persija’s path in the AFC Cup by targeting their first win against 2018 Lao Premier League champions, Lao Toyota. Many media outlets even predict there could be a landslide due to the differences in both football culture and club’s quality. Earning three points in Asia is a big achievement and would be the perfect gift for the supporters after PSM eliminated from the domestic pre-season tournament, the President’s Cup.
The away team came into the game in high spirits after earning a big win against Evo United on the first matchday of 2019 Lao Premier League. Also, Kazuo Honma and his colleagues successfully earned one point against Kaya FC of Philippines on matchday one.
From the beginning, Lao Toyota looked confident and threatened the home side’s due to the acceleration of Rafael Rodrigues, which could still be anticipated by PSM’s defensive line. The hosts enjoyed the majority of possession despite occasionally being caught out from the away sides counter-attacks.
PSM’s first attempt came after 9th minutes, as M. Arfan was fouled by one of the Laotian defenders. But Wiljan Pluim’s free-kick couldn’t find Eero Markkanen’s head which be the media for scoring a goal. Two minutes later the home side get another chances. The Wiljan – Eero’s connection may failed from the corner kick but PSM didn’t stop their search for the opener. Pluim was finally able to take his side infront with a shot from inside the penalty box that went unchallenged from Lao’s defense.
But suddenly, against the odds, Lao Toyota was able to equalize the score right after Pluim’s goal. The home side centre-back duo, Abdul Rahman and Aaron Evans, lost concentration allowing Lao Toyota to build an attack from the kick-off, ultimately finished by Kazuo Homma.
Shocked by the Japanese striker’s goal, PSM continued to pressure Lao Toyota more and more. On the 20th minutes after having a great one-two pass with Eero Markannen, Zulham Zamrun found his way into the penalty box and gave PSM the lead again.
Goal Party In The Second Half
The host still attacked in the second-half, finally getting their third goal after 58 minutes when Wiljan Pluim managed another shot from inside the penalty box. After his strike, the host looks confident and scored the fourth goal just two minutes later. Now the prophecy of the ‘goal party’ in Bogor looked to be coming true.
Finally, Eero Markkanen got his name on the scoreboard. The Finnish international striker headed the ball into the net after get a good cross from Taufik Hidayat from the left flank. He added a second on the 70th minute after getting on a low through pass from Bayu Gatra and send the ball in at the far post.
The visitors from Laos got their second goal a couple of minutes after Eero’s brace. Brazilian midfielder Rafael Rodrigues hit a beautiful long shot to the far corner which keeper Rivky Mokodompit couldn’t handle, making the score 5-2.
But Juku Eja’s goal party wasn’t over yet. Ferdinand Sinaga, who replaced Eero Markkanen, got a goal of his own. Five minutes before the game ended, Marc Klok scored Juku Eja’s seventh goal from a volley outside of the penalty box. Kazuo Homma’s brace, the the games tenth goal, was merely a consolation for the side who had been thoroughly outplayed.
After Takuto Abe blew the final whistle more than 600 hosts’ supporters was well entertained by their side’s showing at the Pakansari stadium, having witnessed an impressive ten goals in a single AFC Cup match. PSM Makassar now look statistically like one of the best attacking teams of the tournament with that result.
As they have already been eliminated from President’s Cup, PSM’s only focus will be their remaining games in the AFC Cup. Next, they will host Kaya FC in Pakansari stadium, on April 2nd.