Southeast Asia Indonesia

Kudela Scores Last-Minute Winner for Persija in Emotional Encounter

Czech international Ondrej Kudela was the hero for Persija Jakarta in Sunday night’s Liga 1 Indonesia action, as his last-minute goal secured a 2-1 come-from-behind win for the Macan Kemayoran away at Persik Kediri, with the victory being dedicated to Persija striker Aji Kusuma, who had lost his father in the build-up to the match.

Persija initially fell behind in the 35th minute thanks to a Mohammad Khanafi strike, but despite this setback, Thomas Doll’s men rallied together and roared back in the second half. Firza Andika started the fightback in the 68th minute, before the points were sealed in the dying minutes of the game courtesy of former Slavia Prague defender Kudela’s well-taken penalty.

Emotions run high amidst the Persija players’ celebrations as they dedicated both goals, as well as the three points, to 24-year old striker Aji, who missed out on the match due to him attending his father’s funeral.

Persija’s Alfriyanto Nico said in a post-match press conference, as quoted from Okezone, “This victory is dedicated to both the Jakmania and Aji Kusuma, who is currently in mourning.”

Nico further expressed his immense gratitude for Persija’s ability to secure three points at Persik’s home ground, the Brawijaya Stadium. This victory also put an end to a five-match winless run that has placed the Macan Kemayoran under immense scrutiny.

He added, “We are grateful for gaining three points, especially after being unable to secure a win in the last five matches. Hopefully, this positive trend will continue moving forward.”

Indeed, the victory against Persik holds great significance for Persija. After a long wait, they finally experienced victory. Their last victory was against PSS Sleman in Matchweek 6 of the 2023/24 Liga 1 season.

At present, Persija has accumulated 17 points and currently sat on 10th position in the league table. The Macan Kemayoran are scheduled to host Bali United in their next match on September 24th.