Persib Bandung managed to get an upper-hand in their 2021 Menpora Cup semifinal tie against PS Sleman. Taking on the Super Elja at their own turf that is the Maguwoharjo Stadium, Persib managed to rally back from being a goal down to seal a 2-1 win in Friday’s first leg, thanks to a 90th minute winner from Frets Butuan. The slender win sets Persib up nicely for April 19th’s second leg at the Manahan Stadium.
Despite being designated as the “away” team at their own stadium, PSS managed to stun Persib in the 20th minute. An excellent teamwork between Samsul Arifin and Saddam Gaffar saw the former teeing up the latter with an accurate cross, while Persib defender Victor Igbonefo gave Saddam too much freedom within the Persib penalty area that allowed the 19-year old striker to smash the ball past I Made Wirawan with a powerful header.
However, three minutes later Igbonefo made amends for his earlier failure to prevent PSS’ opener by scoring Persib’s equalizer, heading home a Febri Hariyadi corner that was unable to be saved by Ega Rizky in the Super Elja goal.
Former Maung Bandung man Kim Jeffrey Kurniawan almost scored against his old team in the 27th minute, taking advantage of an Irfan Jaya chance that caused a skirmish within the Persib penalty area. However, Kim’s left-footed shot from close range was easily parried away by Wirawan.
Nicolas Velez almost gave PSS the lead in stoppage time after Persib defender Henhen Herdiana had failed to properly handle a Saddam cross. Unfortunately for the Argentine, his first-time bullet header went agonizingly wide from Wirawan’s goal, ensuring that the first half would end in a 1-1 draw.
Former FELDA United striker Velez had another pop at Wirawan’s goal early into the second half after being fed the ball by Arsyad Yusgiantoro, however once again the Argentine saw his shot going wide from its intended target.
PSS kept the pressure on Persib throughout the second half, making sure to leave no space for the Maung Bandung to develop their own offense. However, despite this the Maung Bandung managed to land the killing blow in the first minute of injury time, thanks to a well-executed counterattacking move. After Persib had thwarted a PSS corner, Frets gave the ball to Beckham Putra, who in turn sent a through pass to Febri. Febri attempted to shoot but an onrushing Ega managed to block it, only for the ball to fell into the possession of Frets who rifled in the winner from close range.
The 2-1 win gave Persib the slight advantage they needed for the second leg in a few days time, however the slender nature of the win meant that PSS are still alive in this tie.