Southeast Asia Indonesia

Rafael Silva Helps Barito Win, Bhayangkara and Persela Draw

Steven Danis

Football Tribe Indonesia


There were two Liga 1 matches on Saturday night as Barito Putera took on Persebaya Surabaya while Persela Lamongan went up against Bhayangkara FC. The third match of the night between Persib Bandung and Arema FC was delayed due to security issues.

Barito Putera are out to reverse their fortunes as they were winless in their last three matches, while Persebaya came to the Lemang Dehman Stadium with an air of confidence, as they were undefeated in their last six matches. Bajul Ijo‘s last match saw them forcing league leaders Bali United into a draw last week.

Coming into the match, Alfred Riedl’s health issues meant that his assistant Wolfgang Pikal, having worked together with Riedl’s in the Indonesian national team in 2010, was handed the Persebaya managerial position. Barito Putera, on the other hand, are determined to get full points in front of their faithful and fanatical supporters in their bid to avoid relegation.

The game started in a slow tempo, and even though the away team had possession of the ball and created some chances, the first half ended goalless. Brazilian Rafael Silva finally scored the winning goal for Barito Putera in the 67th minute. The ex-Cruzeiro striker headed the ball towards Miswar Saputra’s net after receiving a perfect assist from Rizky Pora on the right side.

The hosts looked comfortable after that goal and made two offensive substitutions. Barito head coach Djadjang Nurdjaman, who was in charge of Persebaya earlier in the season, called Liberian born-naturalized striker Sackie Teah Doe and veteran striker Samsul Arif to replace Evan Dimas and Rafael Silva respectively but there were no other goals until the referee blows for full time. With the three points, Barito are back in 17th position, forcing Semen Padang back into 18th position, the last position in the league table, while Bajul Ijo remained in 7th position.

Meanwhile, in Lamongan, Persela Lamongan failed to get three points when they play in front of their faithful LA Mania supporters in Surajaya Stadium. Laskar Joko Tingkir even conceded first when Bhayangkara’s Korean midfielder, Lee Yoo-Joon, blasted the ball from outside of the box to earn The Guardian the lead in the 23rd minute.

The hosts finally scored their equalizer in the 69th minute thanks to an effort from Birrul Walidain. Nil Maizar’s side even got a golden chance to turn things around into their advantage ten minutes before the game ended as Alex Goncalves was fouled in the penalty box. However, Bhayangkara goalie Wahyu Tri Nugroho managed to block Alex’s penalty to deny Persela their second goal and Alex his 17th goal of the season. Despite the penalty miss, the ex-Gremio youth player remained top-scorer of the Liga 1 this season.