Indonesia Liga 1: PSM Makassar go top as Bali slip up

Gabriel Tan Gabriel Tan

The Indonesia Liga 1 title race took a twist on Tuesday as PSM Makassar moved top of the table with a 3-1 win over Persiba Balikpapan.

Rizky Pellu opened the scoring for PSM at the Andi Mattalatta Stadium after 15 minutes, meeting Zulham Zamrun’s corner with a powerful header that Yoewanto Setya Beny was unable to keep out.

Persiba did manage to pull level two minutes before the hour mark when Junior Lopes finished from close range, after a Maldini Pali corner had been flicked on into his path.

But, just three minutes later, the hosts reclaimed the lead Ferdinand Sinaga latched onto Wiljan Pluim’s deft through-ball and stabbed his shot past the onrushing Beny.

The three points were then secured five minutes from time after another lovely pass by Pluim again released Sinaga, who proceeded to emphatically finish into the back of the net.

The result allowed PSM to tentatively overtake Bhayangkara and claim a two-point lead at the summit, after the previous leaders had their game against Madura United postponed.

Meanwhile, Bali United spurned the opportunity to move level with PSM on Wednesday as they were held to a 1-1 draw away to Barito Putera.

It could have been even worse for Bali as they fell behind after 17 minutes, as Willian Lira was somehow left completely unmarked inside the area to convert Nazar Nurzaidin’s left-wing delivery.

But, in the second minute of injury-time, Sylvano Comvalius came to Bali’s rescue as with a clinical first-time finish from a cross by Yandi Munawar to salvage a share of the spoils for the visitors.

Wednesday’s other games saw PS TNI beat Sriwijaya 2-1, while Persegres Gresik United were the first team consigned to relegation after Arema inflicted a 2-0 defeat on them courtesy of first-half strikes by Arthur Rocha and Cristian Gonzales.

Monday’s sole game saw Borneo extend their recent good run of form as they claimed a third win in four outings by beating Mitra Kukar 4-0 at the Aji Imbut Stadium.

[VIDEO] @mitrakukarfc.official kembali takluk di Aji Imbut usai kalah 4 gol tanpa balas dari

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A first-half brace from Lerby Eliandry put the visitors firmly in control of proceedings, with the Indonesia international deftly cutting inside Anindito Wahyu and finishing to open the scoring in the 28th minute before adding a second with a stunning left-footed piledriver four minutes before halftime.

Terens Puhiri then made it 3-0 in the 71st minute when he scored following a blistering 60-yard run, that saw him leave both Herwin Tri Saputra and opposition keeper Geri Mandagi in his wake.

And, with ten minutes remaining, Borneo completed the rout as Riswan Yusman broke free down the left before lashing an effort past Geri.

Empat gol sudah disumbangkan @bepe20 bersama #Persija musim ini ?? . #PersijaJakarta #PersijaSelamanya

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On Friday, Bambang Pamungkas rolled back the years with two goals to inspire Persija Jakarta to a 2-0 triumph over Semen Padang, while Persela Lamongan defeated Persib Bandung 1-0 courtesy of Samsul Arif’s 67th-minute strike.

Finally, Persipura Jayapura’s ailing title hopes were dealt a big blow as they were beaten 2-1 by Perseru Serui.

After Mariando Uropmabin had fired Perseru ahead in the 7th minute, Mutiara Hitam got themselves back in the contest courtesy of Osvaldo Haay’s equaliser two minutes before the half-hour mark.

Nonetheless, it was the hosts who went on to claim all three points nine minutes into the second half, when Ryutaro Karube netted his third goal in as many goals to win it for his side.

Photo credit: Go-Jek Traveloka Liga 1