Indonesia Liga 1: Persipura, Bali keep Bhayangkara in sight

Gabriel Tan Gabriel Tan

The top four in the Indonesia Liga 1 continue to be separated by just four points after Bhayangkara, Bali United, Persipura Jayapura and PSM Makassar all posted wins in the latest round of action.

Leaders Bhayangkara survived a scare to claim a 2-1 win over Semen Padang at Stadion Haji Agus Salim on Friday, having initially trailed at the break courtesy of Riko Simanjuntak’s 16th-minute opener.

Otavio Dutra did however head home an equaliser three minutes before the hour mark to get the Bekasi-based outfit back on track, although they had to wait until the 93rd minute to seal the win when Ilija Spasojevic charged into the box before finding the back of the net with a neat finish.

With the victory, Bhayangkara remain a point ahead of Bali United, who defeated Persija Jakarta 2-1 at Stadion Kapten I Wayan Dipta on the same day.

Sylvano Comvalius broke the deadlock after ten minutes with a close-range finish after the ball was helped on into his path by Irfan Bachdim, who then doubled Bali’s lead six minutes later when he nodded home a cross from the former.

HARD WORK WORKS! #BaliUnitedFC #NikeFootball #TeamWork . . ?: @ewinsetyo

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While Persija reduced the deficit in the 61st minute courtesy of a towering header from Bambang Pamungkas, the hosts were ultimately able to hold out for maximum points.

Persipura Jayapura are a further three points adrift following a 4-2 triumph over Persiba Balikpapan on Sunday.

Persipura were cruising to victory as they claimed a 3-0 lead via efforts by Ricardo Salampessy, Addison Alves and a Yudi Khoerudin own-goal, only for the visitors to hit back when Bijahil Chalwa and Ilhamul Irmaz scored in the span of four minutes.

Just when it looked like Mutiara Hitam were in danger of dropping points, Osvaldo Haay popped up with a goal in injury-time to put the result beyond doubt.

Sunday’s other game saw bottom side Persegres Gresik United claim only their second win of the campaign as they stunned Barito Putera 2-1, while PSM Makassar were also victors in a thrilling 4-3 triumph away to Sriwijaya.

Syaiful Indra Cahya and Esteban Vizcarra were both on target as Arema beat Persela Lamongan 2-0 in Saturday’s only game, while Thursday’s action saw a 2-1 victory for Perseru Serui over Mitra Kukar.

Finally, Madura United and PS TNI finished the round off on Monday with the former emerging 3-2 victors, benefitting from a 73rd-minute winner by Dane Milovanovic.

Photo credit: Go-Jek Traveloka Liga 1