Football Tribe Indonesia
As the election day in Indonesia on Wednesday, PSM Makassar carried the name and pride of the country on their shoulder in Asia’s competition as they traveled to Bacolod, Philippines. Juku Eja claimed all three points and climbed to the top of Group H with a 1-2 victory over Kaya FC Ilo-Ilo. A win for PSM was also a win for the country itself during a historic day for the nation.
Joel Villarino, Kaya’s coach, didn’t change the starting-eleven who succeeded in earning a draw at the Pakansari stadium in the reverse fixture last time out. He also hoped that the Paanad stadium will be hell for another Indonesian team after Persija lost there against Ceres-Negros a few weeks before.
While PSM, still in a 4-2-3-1 formation, lost midfielders Zulham Zamrun and Aaron Evans. M. Arfan. Dutchman Pluim moved to the right wing to replace Zulham, while Munhar replaced Aaron Evans spot and was paired with Abdul Rahman.
PSM looked more confident and succeeded in pressing the hosts to fashion two attempts, both of which resulted in shots on Kaya’s goal. Suddenly the goal itself came after 21 minutes. After getting a perfect assist from Wiljan Pluim in the penalty box, Rizky Pellu headed the ball towards Louie Casas’ goal and put the visitors in front.
Kaya’s nightmare didn’t stop there, as three minutes later Eero Markkanen scored his fifth goal on the tournament after converting Beny Wahyudi’s assist from the right side and bursting a low shot to the far post of Kaya’s net. The host tried to get back into the game from counter-attacks and corner kicks. However, there was no goal from the Lions as Thai referee Mongkolchai Pechsri blown the whistle to the half-time.
PSM had a poor turn of luck in the first ten minutes of the second half as Abdul Rahman got his second yellow card after fouling Jordan Mintah right before the striker found his way into the penalty box. However, the hosts were unable to convert the resulting freekick, as Mintah’s shot was blocked by Rivky Mokodompit.
Kaya, who got an advantage from Abdulrahman’s red card, called on some more offensive players like Arnie Pasinabo, Arnel Amita and Yannick Tuason. However, the match itself paused for the water-break ahead of the last 15 minutes as the weather at the Paanad Stadium reached 33 degrees Celsius.
PSM coach Darije Kalezic tried to play more defensively to keep ahold of their one-goal advantage. However, this defensive tactic frustrated one of Kaya’s players, Jalsor Soriano, frustrated as he attacked Marc Klok the edge of the field two minutes before the game ended.
However, PSM’s defense lost their focus as Hasyim Kipuw tackled Jordan Mintah inside the penalty box. Jovin Bedic managed to half the deficit from the penalty spot in stoppage time, but the goal turned out to be a mere consolation as PSM held on for the vital away win.
With two matches left to play, PSM are now leading in Group H and have a big chance to go through to the next phase.