Southeast Asia Indonesia

Bali United Survive RANS Fightback to Claim All Three Points

Defending Liga 1 Indonesia champions Bali United were made to sweat for their win on Thursday night’s Matchweek 3 action, after the Serdadu Tridatu managed to eke out a 3-2 win over newly-promoted RANS Nusantara FC at the Kapten I Wayan Dipta Stadium.

Seeking to bounce back from their Matchweek 2 defeat away at PSM Makassar, Bali United started the match off with attacking intent as Ilija Spasojevic managed to force a save from former Bali United goalkeeper Wawan Hendrawan in the early stages of the encounter. RANS Nusantara replied to Bali United’s intentions with an early chance of their own with a Septian Bagaskara header going off-target from Nadeo Argawinata’s goal.

The hosts opened the scoring in the 35th minute after a Yabes Roni pass was finished off excellently by Spasojevic, however, almost immediately Bali United were pegged back after Jujun Junaedi seized upon a rebounded Edo Febriansyah’s long-ranged shot to fire home past Nadeo.

Bali United were then given a penalty in the closing stages of the first half after Arthur Bonai had fouled Yabes in the area. The spot kick was taken excellently by Spasojevic, his brace completed as Bali United went into the break with a slender 2-1 advantage.

The Serdadu Tridatu made it 3-1 around six minutes after the restart, with Brazilian defender Willian Pacheco thumping home a Fadil Sausu corner into Wawan’s goal.

Being two goals down made RANS Nusantara intensify their pressure on the hosts and the Prestige Phoenix found their breakthrough in the 64th minute – captain Ady Setiawan managing to weigh in a perfect cross onto the path of Arthur, who headed home past Nadeo.

Makan Konate almost salvaged a draw for RANS Nusantara late into the game, however despite beating the Bali United defense and Nadeo, Ricky Fajrin interfered in the last second to mount a goal-line clearance to deny Konate.

No further goals were scored and Bali United managed to retain their slender 3-2 lead all the way into full-time.

Matchweek 3 continues on Friday with two matches – early pace-setters PSM hosting Persija Jakarta at the Gelora BJ Habibie, while Arema FC welcome PSS Sleman to the Kanjuruhan Stadium.