Southeast Asia Indonesia

Hell and Heaven Before Liga 1 Enters Week 23

Steven Danis

Football Tribe Indonesia


It’s the international break and the 2019 Liga 1 Week 22 has just finished on Saturday night. But there are a number of games being postponed before we enter Week 23 on Friday, October 18th that made the heaven cooler and the hell hotter in the league standings.

Despite not playing in this gameweek, Bali United are still leading the standings comfortably with 48 points out of 20 games. Even if Serdadu Tridatu loses their two extra games, it’s too far for their closest rivals TIRA-Persikabo and Madura United to catch up with them.

Madura United, however, managed to snatch 2nd place away from TIRA-KABO as they won 2-1 against Persib Bandung on Saturday night. Febry Hariyadi opened the scoring for Maung Bandung after just 3 minutes but an own goal from Nick Kuipers and a controversial penalty in the second half made Laskar Sapeh Kerrab extend their excellent record against their Bandung counterparts.

Persib are still winless against Madura since the inception of the Liga 1 in 2017 after Saturday night’s defeat. The controversial penalty on Saturday night happened when Ahmad Jufriyanto of Persib was judged to have fouled Madura’s Brazilian playmaker, Diego Assis. With minimal contact from the former Kuala Lumpur man, Diego Assis fell down in the penalty box that made referee Faulur Rosy pointed to the spot and punish Persib with a penalty.

The controversy itself was heard by the Anti Football Mafia Special Taskforce that was made by the Indonesian Police Department with the purpose of eradicating bad issues around Indonesian football such as match-fixing. Persib’s captain, Supardi Nasir, was incensed by the penalty since Persib were always given a penalty against them whenever they meet Madura.

Meanwhile in Jakarta, two delayed games for Persija Jakarta might work towards their advantage in preparing for their upcoming match.  Macan Kemayoran‘s game in Week 22 against Persela Lamongan and the rescheduled match of Week 4 against Borneo FC, both held in Jakarta, were postponed due to protests and riots in the capital. This meant that Persija were rewarded with the luxury of extra preparation time underneath their new head coach, Edson Tavares, before their next match against Semen Padang FC on Wednesday 16th October, a match that was rescheduled from Week 10.

Both sides will face an important game in their bid to avoid relegation. Whilst Persija had the advantage of having the opportunity to adapt themselves to Edson’s tactics, Semen Padang won their Week 22 match, a Sumatra Derby against Perseru Badak Lampung FC at Bandar Lampung, thanks to a single goal from Vanderlei Fransisco 2 minutes from full-time. However Semen Padang remained bottom as the two teams directly above them, Borneo teams Kalteng Putra and Barito Putera, played out a 1-1 draw in their Week 22 match.

The chaotic scheduling of the Liga 1 meant that the games between PSM Makassar and Persipura Jayapura, a rescheduled match from Week 4, as well as Persebaya Surabaya against Borneo FC, were also postponed. PSM will instead shift their focus to their rematch with Arema FC at the Andi Mattalatta Stadium in Makassar on Wednesday 16th October, a rescheduled match from Week 5. Coincidentally, the two teams met on Week 22, at the Kanjuruhan Stadium in Malang Regency, which saw Arema ran out 2-0 winners over Juku Eja, condemning PSM to their third consecutive defeat.