Indonesia Liga 1: Bali United close in on Bhayangkara

Irfan Bachdim, Bali United & Indonesia
Gabriel Tan Gabriel Tan

Bali United moved one point behind leaders Bhayangkara in the Indonesia Liga 1 after a 2-0 win over Perseru Serui on Monday.

Irfan Bachdim opened the scoring for Bali four minutes before the break with a neat finish from eight yards out, after being picked out by Sylvano Comvalius’ flick-on header.

Nine minutes into the second half, Perseru keeper Sukasto Effendi’s failure to gather a low cross led to a goal-mouth scramble which Marcos Flores ultimately benefitted from, firing into the unguarded goal to seal the win for the hosts.

The result means Bali are now just a point off the pace after Bhayangkara were held to a 1-1 draw by Persib Bandung on Sunday.

Bhayangkara were initially on course for victory courtesy of Paulo Sergio’s 27th-minute stunner, with the Portuguese curling a first-time effort from the edge of the box into the top corner.

But, 16 minutes from time, Michael Essien was on hand to bundle home a Raphael Maitimo cross to earn Persib a share of the spoils.

Legendary Indonesia striker Bambang Pamungkas was on target for the second time in three matches as Persija Jakarta drew 1-1 with Arema.

The 37-year-old broke the deadlock four minutes after the half-hour mark, although Esteban Vizcarra scored in the 80th minute to force the draw for Arema and deny Persija a second consecutive win.

[VIDEO] Gol dari @willianlira09 dan @douglaspacker membawa @psbaritoputeraofficial meraih 3 poin di kandang @semenpadangfcid.

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Monday’s other action saw Shane Smeltz net the only goal of the game in the 78th minute to help Borneo beat Persiba Balikpapan 1-0, while Barito Putera came from behind to beat Semen Padang 2-1.

On Tuesday, Madura United defeated bottom side Persegres Gresik United 3-0 to climb into fourth spot.

Engelbert Sani got Madura on their way with an eighth-minute strike, before they went on to wrap things up courtesy of second-half efforts from Thiago Furtuoso and Fachrudin Aryanto.

[VIDEO] @marckhomeraudje dan @betogoncalves9 membawa meraih tiga poin atas @perselafc.

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Meanwhile, PS TNI claimed a 2-1 win over Mitra Kukar, and Sriwijaya were also victorious as goals by Marckho Merauje and Beto saw off Persela Lamongan 2-0.

Finally, Wednesday’s action saw top-five sides Persipura Jayapura and PSM Makassar play out a 0-0 draw at Stadion Mandala.

Photo credit: Bali United FC