Southeast Asia Indonesia

Persis Edged Out in Thriller

Monday’s Liga 1 Indonesia action served up an exciting match at the Moch. Soebroto Stadium in Magelang, as hosts Persis Solo succumbed to a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Dewa United.

The Tangsel Warriors took the lead as early as the 2nd minute after a Karim Rossi header made its way into Muhammad Riyandi’s goal. However, the Laskar Sambernyawa did not let that early setback deter them and drew things level 20 minutes later. Gerard Artigas managed to latch onto an Alexis Messidoro corner and smashed home a header past Dewa United goalie Muhammad Nathsir.

With the scores tied at 1-1 in half-time, Persis intensified their pressure once the second half starts. Chrystna Bhagascara managed to blast a screamer from outside the area, however the ball could only manage to struck the crossbar despite blazing over Nathsir’s head.

Dewa United then regained the lead in the 65th minute, after a Miftah Anwar Sani free-kick was inadvertently directed into Riyandi’s goal by Persis’ Australian defender Aaron Evans.

Gavin Kwan Adsit then drew things level for Persis shortly afterwards, with Messidoro once again contributing as the goal’s creator. The Argentine’s free-kick was welcomed by a thumping header from former Bali United man Gavin that made its way into Nathsir’s goal and restored parity.

The match was then settled in spectacular fashion in the 74th minute, after Natanael Siringoringo, on loan at Dewa United from Malaysian second-tier side Kelantan FC, blasted home an eye-catching volley from outside the area that left Riyandi utterly stunned. 3-2 in Dewa United’s advantage, and the scoreline didn’t change at all until full-time.

Unfortunately, the match was marred by a series of confrontations between Persis fans and fans of PSIM Yogyakarta within the Special Region of Yogyakarta. Despite advice from authorities for Persis fans to avoid Yogyakarta and its surrounding regencies in their trip from Solo to Magelang, some Persis fans did not heed the advice and stormed the special region, provoking locals at the iconic Tugu Monument before engaging in a number of skirmishes with both locals and PSIM fans in Gejayan, Jombor, and other areas within the regency of Sleman.

Thankfully no lives were lost in the confrontations but there were significant damages to property in the aftermath of the skirmishes. The incident left Solo mayor Gibran Rakabumining Raka angry as he vowed to ask the Persis management to ban the fans involved in the confrontations, while Persis shareholder Kevin Nugroho threatened to leave the club should the fans involve themselves in such skirmishes again. Gibran also stepped forward and offered to pay for all the damages done by the Persis fans in Yogyakarta soil.

Monday’s other matches also saw a straightforward 2-0 win for Persita Tangerang over Persik Kediri at the Indomilk Arena, while a Gustavo Tocantins penalty in the second half was enough for Persikabo 1973 to saw off the challenge of Persebaya Surabaya at the Pakansari Stadium.