After taking a day’s worth of rest, the 2021 Menpora Cup resume hostilities on Saturday with the continuation of Matchweek 2. This time Group B takes center stage, with Persija Jakarta managing to redeem themselves from Matchweek 1’s shock defeat with a 4-0 demolition job of Borneo FC at the Kanjuruhan Stadium in Kepanjen, Malang Regency.
The Macan Kemayoran were beaten 2-0 by PSM Makassar on Matchweek 1 and Sudirman’s men were looking to set things right as Borneo went up against them as their next opponents. The Pesut Etam, despite their activities in the transfer market during the buildup towards the Menpora Cup, were in an unideal position as well having lost their Matchweek 1 game 1-0 at the hands of Bhayangkara Solo FC.
Knowing that a win would keep their chances of getting out of Group B alive, Persija went straight on the offensive from kick-off. The Macan Kemayoran mustered 5 shots at the Borneo defense, however Pesut Etam goalkeeper Gianluca Pandeynuwu managed to keep Borneo in the game with a string of excellent saves.
Gianluca’s first half heroics were undone in stoppage time though, as Marco Motta planted a bullet of a header past the young goalkeeper to ensure that Persija would finish the first half with a 1-0 lead.
The second half then saw Persija turning on the heat and asserted their dominance over their opponents. Osvaldo Haay managed to make it 2-0 for the Macan Kemayoran in the 49th minute, taking advantage of a long ball from Persija goalkeeper Andritany Ardhiyasa that missed a Borneo defender before seizing onto the loose ball and performing a solo run towards Gianluca’s goal, easily beating the goalkeeper with a well-taken finish that went straight between Gianluca’s legs and into the goal.
Brazilian defender Yann Motta then makes it 3-0 Persija in the 66th minute, the former Tanjong Pagar United player redeeming himself for his fatal mistake in Matchweek 1 by smashing home a Marc Klok corner into Gianluca’s goal with his head.
Marko Simic then joined in the fun in the 88th minute, scoring Persija’s fourth of the night as he bundled in a close-ranged finish past Gianluca to ensure the Macan Kemayoran‘s victory.
The 4-0 defeat effectively eliminated Borneo from the Menpora Cup as they are now bottom of Group B with two losses from two. Persija, on the other hand, kept their qualification chances alive with the win as they sit third in the group with three points, one point shy of joint-leaders PSM and Bhayangkara who played out a 1-1 draw in the early kick-off.
Matchweek 2 continues on Sunday with action from Group C at the Si Jalak Harupat Stadium, with PS Sleman taking on Persela Lamongan in the early kick-off before the big one in the late match – the latest chapter of the Suramadu Derby between Madura United and Persebaya Surabaya.