Persib Bandung notched a confident performance on Monday night’s 2021 Menpora Cup action, comfortably seeing off Persita Tangerang 3-1 in their Matchweek 2 encounter at the Maguwoharjo Stadium. Goals from Esteban Vizcarra, Frets Butuan, and Ezra Walian ensured that the Maung Bandung would end the matchweek top of Group D, equal on points with 2nd placed Bali United but with a better goal difference.
Going on the offensive since the get-go, Persib managed to open the scoring in the 15th minute. Former Becamex Binh Duong striker Wander Luiz passed the ball short within the area to Vizcarra, with the Argentine-born Indonesian midfielder slamming home a shot past Persita goalkeeper Yogi Triana with his first touch.
With the single goal advantage now theirs, Persib kept on applying the pressure on the Persita defense and in the 36th minute the Pendekar Cisadane‘s backline gave way once again as Persib doubled their advantage. Once again it was Wander Luiz who had a huge role in the goal’s creation, his pass allowing Frets all the freedom in the world to barge into the Persita penalty area and firing home an angled shot that left Triana beaten once again.
Persita were then given a lifeline in the stroke of half-time. Achmad Jufriyanto was adjudged to had handled the ball inside the box when attempting to clear away a Persita corner, leaving the referee no choice but to award Persita a penalty. Chandra Waskito was entrusted in taking the penalty and the striker did his job admirably, his penalty going past Persib goalkeeper Dhika Bayangkara to reduce the deficit for the Pendekar Cisadane.
The second half gave Persib head coach Robert Rene Alberts the opportunity to introduce two new fresh pair of legs into the game – former Ajax Amsterdam academy graduate Ezra and former PSV Eindhoven youngster Farshad Noor. And it was the former who killed the game off for Persib in the 63rd minute. Receiving an excellent cross from Bayu Fiqri, former PSM Makassar striker Ezra finished things off with a simple tap-in that was unable to be saved by Triana, ensuring all three points for Persib and elimination from the Menpora Cup for Persita.
Group D’s earlier kick-off saw Bali United etching their first three points of the Menpora Cup, with the Serdadu Tridatu seeing off Persiraja Banda Aceh 2-0 at the Maguwoharjo thanks to goals from Ilija Spasojevic and Rizky Pellu.
The 2021 Menpora Cup continues on Tuesday with Matchweek 3 as Group A is set to play out their final set of matches at the Manahan Stadium. Barito Putera are looking for qualification out of the group as they take on Persikabo 1973 in the early match, while the late kick-off sees group leaders PSIS Semarang seeking their own ticket out of Group A, facing-off against an Arema FC side desperate for a win that would keep their own qualification hopes alive.