Southeast Asia Indonesia

Ernando’s Last-Minute Heroics Seal Derby Win for Persebaya

A last-gasp penalty save from Ernando Ari helped Persebaya Surabaya to a hard-fought 1-0 win over Super East Java Derby rivals Arema FC in Tuesday night’s Liga 1 Indonesia match at the PTIK Stadium in South Jakarta.

The previous meeting in the league’s first half was marred by the Kanjuruhan Tragedy that saw 135 people lost their lives in a crowd-crush following Persebaya’s 3-2 win away at their fierce rivals and it was inevitable that the tragedy provided the backdrop for Tuesday’s rematch.

An event from the Gresik Regency government at the Gelora Joko Samudro meant that Persebaya were unable to play their match at their temporary home following the renovation of their Gelora Bung Tomo, forcing the match to be held at the PTIK, which has been Arema’s temporary home after the Kanjuruhan Tragedy. The decision was understandably met with outrage from Persebaya fans but nonetheless the Bajul Ijo soldiered on.

The two fierce rivals clashed in an evenly-matched contest, with Supriyadi and Ze Valente coming closer to providing Persebaya with the breakthrough. The deadlock was finally broken in the 79th minute after Muhammad Iqbal headed home a Paulo Victor ball to give the Bajul Ijo the lead.

Arema pressed on for an equalizer, with Dendi Santoso testing Ernando in the Persebaya goal during the match’s closing stages, before the Singo Edan were awarded a penalty in the last second of the match following an Arif Catur foul in the area.

Rizky Dwi Febrianto was tasked in salvaging a point for Arema, however Ernando kept his cool and denied the Singo Edan player, sealing all three points for Persebaya and ensuring that the Bajul Ijo had done the first league double over their arch-rivals in 23 years.

The win lifted Persebaya to 7th in the Liga 1 table, while Arema were stuck in 11th. The two East Java rivals had only one more match left to be played this season – Arema hosting Bhayangkara FC at the PTIK on April 14th and Persebaya welcoming Dewa United to Gresik on April 15th.