Southeast Asia Indonesia

Persija’s Woes Continues as They Lose Indonesian El Clásico

Steven Danis

Football Tribe Indonesia


With the Spanish El Clásico postponed last Saturday due to the unrest in Catalonia, Indonesian football fans were treated to their own version of El Clásico last night. Two illustrious teams in Indonesian football, Persib Bandung and Persija Jakarta, met on Gameweek 25 of the 2019 Liga 1, with the game being held at Bali United’s Kapten I Wayan Dipta Stadium due to security concerns related to the tumultuous history between the supporters of the two teams.

Playing as the “hosts” of this match, Persib dictated the game with their high tempo style of play, which Persija managed to keep up with a similar tempo of their own. The two teams created chances after chances, however, the first half ended goalless. The second half saw Maung Bandung spring into life, surprising Persija by taking the lead in the 52nd minute. Frets Butuan made a feisty run down the left side before magnificently finishes the move with a shot that went beyond Persija goalie Andritany Ardhiyasa. The Persija captain and first-choice goalie for the Indonesia national team could only do nothing as Frets’ powerful shot went beyond him.

Seven minutes after the opener Persib struck again. Ardi Idrus managed to outsmart both Novri Setiawan and Riko Simanjuntak, before sending a pinpoint pass towards Ezechiel N’Douassel. The Chad national team captain did not hesitate as he fired off a shot that doubled Persib’s lead and pretty much killed off the game for Macan Kemayoran.

Persija are now 14th in the league, with 24 points from 23 matches. The defending Liga 1 champions are lucky that Persela lost 2-0 to Kalteng Putra on Sunday meant that their nearest competitors won’t be able to catch up with them until the next gameweek. Persib, on the other hand, are 10th on the table, with 31 points from 24 matches.

While dark clouds are still hanging over Persija, Macan Kemayoran could breathe a sigh of relief for now as two clubs in the relegation zone, Perseru Badak Lampung FC and Semen Padang, both lost their matches yesterday with an identical 1-0 scoreline.

Badak Lampung entertained Persipura Jayapura at the Sumpah Pemuda Way Halim Stadium in Bandar Lampung. The newly relocated club managed to keep up with the four-time league champions during the first half of the match, however, disaster struck Laskar Saburai after Persipura’s veteran striker Ian Louis Kabes scored in the 64th minute to bring the three points back to Jayapura.

Meanwhile, at the Kanjuruhan Stadium, Arema FC took on Semen Padang in front of their faithful and fanatical Aremania supporters. Despite their lowly standing on the table, Semen Padang managed to shut up shop and defended well from Arema’s attacks, until the 79th minute. Dendi Santoso was fouled within the box and the referee pointed the spot for a penalty. Arema’s Malian midfielder, Makan Konatè, was entrusted with the task of executing the penalty, and the former Persib, PBDKT T-Team, and Sriwijaya FC man did not disappoint, firing a crisp penalty that earned Arema the lead and eventually, the win. The three points meant that Arema are now 5th on the table with Persipura sitting right above them on 4th, while Badak Lampung and Semen Padang are 17th and 18th on the table respectively.