Southeast Asia Indonesia

Title Edges Closer to Bali United as TIRA-KABO and Madura United Slip Up

Steven Danis

Football Tribe Indonesia


The Bali United squad will be pleased with the outcome of Gameweek 24 of the 2019 Liga 1, as their closest title rivals, Madura United and TIRA-Persikabo, slipped up massively in the race for the title. With two games in hand and 51 points in the bag, should Serdadu Tridatu retain consistency in their remaining matches, the Liga 1 title is as good as theirs.

TIRA-Persikabo’s 13-match unbeaten run was now a distant memory as Rahmad Darmawan’s men are winless in their last 8 matches as they took on Arema FC at Bogor’s Pakansari Stadium yesterday. Laskar Padjajaran are looking to stop the rot and avoid a 9th consecutive match without a win, while Arema are looking to recover from their own winless run as well, having lost one and drawn two of their last 3 matches. Unfortunately for the two sides, they are left without their key strikers for the game, with TIRA-KABO losing Loris Arnaud and Arema losing Sylvano Comvalius through injury.

Arema went ahead in the 30th minute thanks to a cheeky no-look header from Ahmad Nur Hardianto, taking advantage of a pint-point freekick from Makan Konate. However in the second half, TIRA-KABO had Wawan Febrianto to thank as the midfielder, fresh from his Indonesian national team debut against Vietnam earlier this month, scored the equalizer from a direct freekick in the 59th minute that went beyond Arema goalie Utam Rusdiana. The match ended in a 1-1 draw, which meant that both teams’ winless runs continues on to the next gameweek. TIRA-KABO remained fifth on the table thanks to the draw, while Arema are now seventh.

Meanwhile, in Makassar, 2nd placed Madura United took on PSM Makassar at the Andi Mattalatta Stadium, hoping to bridge that 10 point gap between themselves and leaders Bali United. However, PSM had other ideas as they condemned Laskar Sapeh Kerrab to a 1-0 defeat, with Marc Klok scoring the winning penalty in the 58th minute after Amido Balde had been fouled in the box. The defeat meant that Madura United must regroup and focus their attention to their next match, a home match against TIRA-KABO at the Gelora Madura Ratu Pamelingan, in order to keep up pace with Bali United.

At the Maguwoharjo International Stadium in Sleman, defending champions Persija Jakarta managed to force a goalless draw against hosts PS Sleman. Newly promoted PSS has been punching above their weight this season and are fifth on the table, only losing once at home all season, so Edson Tavares’ Macan Kemayoran can consider themselves fortunate to be able to pick up a point from the Maguwoharjo. More good news for Persija came after their relegation rivals Semen Padang, who are two points behind the faltering champions, lost their Gameweek 24 match against Persipura Jayapura.

Playing at the Haji Agus Salim Stadium, Kabau Sirah took the lead in the 16th minute thanks to Chad international Karl Max Barthélémy, however, Persipura’s legendary striker Boaz Solossa scored the equalizer for Persipura before the end of the first half. Jacksen F. Tiago’s men finally grabbed all three points after Todd Rivaldo Ferre scored a sublime freekick in the second half, ensuring that Semen Padang would end the gameweek stuck in the relegation zone. Persipura, on the other hand, are up to 4th on the table.

The 2019 Liga 1 action will continue thick and fast for Indonesian football fans as October comes to a close, with Gameweek 25 kicking off tomorrow with 14th placed PSIS Semarang entertaining 3rd placed Borneo FC at the Moch. Soebroto Stadium in Magelang. The gameweek will end on Halloween, October 31st, with the titanic clash between 2nd placed Madura United and 5th placed TIRA-Persikabo at the Gelora Madura Ratu Pamelingan Stadium, Pamekasan.