Bali United remain four points behind Indonesia Liga 1 leaders Bhayangkara after cruising to a 6-1 win over Arema at the Kapten I Wayan Dipta Stadium on Sunday.
Irfan Bachdim got them on their way after seven minutes when his 35-yard freekick was misjudged by opposition keeper Dwi Kuswanto and sailed all the way into the back of the net.
The hosts then doubled their lead five minutes later when Sylvano Comvalius converted from the spot after Nick van der Velden had been felled inside the area, although Esteban Vizcarra pulled one back for Arema two minutes after the half-hour mark.
Nonetheless, Bali regained control of proceedings seven minutes after the restart when Stefano Lilipaly capitalised on a defensive mix-up to race through and score.
From then on, there was never really any doubt over the result and further goals from Comvalius, Lilipaly and Miftahul Hamdi in the final 14 minutes capped off a comprehensive victory for Serdadu Tridatu.
The result allowed Bali to remain four points behind Bhayangkara, who were also in action on Sunday and beat Persiba Balikpapan 3-2.
Bhayangkara got off to a storming start at the Patriot Stadium as Paulo Sergio, Dendy Sulistyawan and Ilija Spasojevic were on target to hand them a commanding lead inside the opening half-hour.
However, they were made to endure a nervy ending to the match as Persiba hit back through Lerby Eliandry and Hamka Hamzah efforts, although the hosts ultimately held out for maximum points.
There was also another five-goal thriller at the Segiri Stadium and it was Borneo, fuelled by goals from Matheus Lopes, Terens Puhiri and Lerby Eliandry, who saw off PSM Makassar 3-2.
Meanwhile, on Saturday, Mitra Kukar survived a real scare against bottom side Persegres Gresik United before claiming a 4-2 triumph at the Tridarma Stadium.
Despite notching only two wins thus far this season, Persegres looked like they were on course for victory after strikes by Jusmadi and Arsyad Yusgiantoro sandwiched a Marclei Santos effort to give the hosts a 2-1 lead at halftime.
But Mitra eventually found their rhythm in the second half and Septian Maulana levelled the scores in the 51st minute, before a double from Anindito Wahyu thereafter secured maximum points for the visitors.
Elsewhere, Beto scored the only goal of the match in the 77th minute to help Sriwijaya beat Persija Jakarta 1-0, while PS TNI were 2-1 victors over Perseru Serui thanks to a Sansan Husaeni brace.
Persipura Jayapura retain slim hope of challenging for the title as they stayed nine points off the pace following a 2-1 triumph over Persela Lamongan on Friday.
Addison Alves broke the deadlock in the 16th minute and Boaz Solossa doubled their lead on the hour mark, before Persela netted what proved to be a consolation a minute later when Samsul Arif found the back of the net.
— Go-Jek Traveloka L1 (@Liga1Match) October 9, 2017
Friday’s other game ended in a 0-0 draw between Semen Padang and Madura United, while Persib Bandung also played out a goalless stalemate at home to Barito Putera on Monday.
Photo credit: Bali United FC