Southeast Asia Indonesia

Karo United Lift Liga 3 Indonesia Title After Dramatic Finale

Karo United have won the 2021/22 Liga 3 Indonesia after edging out Putra Delta Sidoarjo on penalties in Wednesday’s final at Sidoarjo’s Gelora Delta Stadium. The two sides traded blows in an exciting encounter that ended 3-3 after 90 minutes, however, the Laskar Simbisa kept their heads cool in the ensuing penalty shootout to emerge as 4-2 victors.

With the chairman of the Football Federation of Indonesia (PSSI) Mochamad Iriawan in attendance, PDS drew first blood in the 8th minute thanks to their top-scorer, Adam Malik. However, Karo United would equalize in the 14th minute thanks to a well-taken penalty from their own top-scorer, Kardinata Tarigan.

The North Sumatra-based side then took the lead in the 20th minute thanks to a Faisal Ramadoni header, before Muhammad Putra Agung increased the gap in the 39th minute.

PDS then slashed the deficit in the 44th minute, with Yoga Arivianto managing to put the ball into Reza Satria’s goal. An exciting first half then ended 3-2 to Karo United’s advantage.

The second half saw more drama unfolding, with PDS captain Ferry Aman Saragih receiving a red card following a foul on Tarigan in the 50th minute. The former Arema FC player had seen yellow earlier in the match, and the foul on Tarigan rightfully earned him a second yellow and with it, an early shower.

PDS then saw themselves playing with nine men after Guntur Nur Hassan’s dismissal in the 70th minute, before Tarigan himself saw red in the 88th minute, meaning that both teams did not end the match with all 22 men on the pitch.

With Karo United only moments away from the Liga 3 title, Fajrul Falah had other things to say as he headed in PDS’ equalizer in the 89th minute, ensuring that the match would end 3-3 after 90 minutes.

As there was no extra time in this year’s Liga 3 final, the match went straight into penalties after the final whistle. All four of Karo United’s takers – Aidun Sastra, Faisal, Dian Alfariz, and Aditya Angga – managed to dispatch their penalties perfectly, while two out of four of PDS’ takers – Wisam El-Burji and Shadiq Mustafa – failed in their task, with only Adam and Fega Gandy succeeding.

Prevailing in the shootout 4-2, Karo United were crowned as champions of this season’s Liga 3, an incredible feat considering that not only they were founded only three years ago back in 2019, but also they managed to qualify for the national round as mere bronze medalists of this season’s Liga 3 North Sumatra.

Karo United also became the second non-Javanese team to win the Liga 3 since the reformation of the Indonesian third-tier back in 2014, with the first one being Perseden Denpasar, who lifted the ISC Liga Nusantara trophy back in 2016.