The latest round of Indonesia Liga 1 action resulted in a three-way tie at the summit after Bali United and Bhayangkara posted wins to move level with PSM Makassar.
Bhayangkara were the first in action on Friday after comfortably posted a 3-1 win over Persela Lamongan at the Patriot Stadium.
Ilija Spasojevic opened the scoring in the 28th minute when he popped up inside the six-yard box to convert I Putu Gede’s low cross, before Otavio Dutra made it 2-0 with a far-post header after the visitors failed to clear their lines from a Wahyu Suboseto corner in the 53rd minute.
Persela managed to pull one back a minute after the hour mark through a Samsul Arif penalty but, a minute from time, the hosts were awarded a penalty of their own for a trip on Ilham Armaiyn inside the area, which Guy Junior coolly converted to seal the win.
The victory tentatively took Bhayangkara clear at the top of the table on 62 points, although they were joined on Sunday by PSM Makassar, who were held to a 2-2 draw by Barito Putera at the May 17th Stadium.
After Dedi Hartono had broken the deadlock for Barito, goals by Zulham Zamrun and Ferdinand Sinaga either side of halftime looked to have handed PSM maximum points.
But, with 14 minutes remaining, Gavin Kwan Adsit produced a fine individual effort – turning his marker and advancing to the edge of the box before firing into the bottom corner – to earn the hosts a share of the spoils.
And, on Monday, a third side joined them at the top as Bali United defeated Sriwijaya 3-2 at the Kapten I Wayan Dipta Stadium.
Bali initially were coasting to victory after a Sylvano Comvalius double and a strike by Muhammad Taufiq handed them a healthy lead at the break.
However, Marckho Merauje reduced the deficit for Sriwijaya four minutes into the second half and Beto then struck in the 62nd minute to set up a tense finish, although the hosts ultimately held on to the win.
Sunday’s other games saw Madura United beat Persiba Balikpapan 4-3 in an absolute thriller, while Persipura Jayapura came from behind to beat Arema 3-1 after a stirring finish saw them net three goals in the final seven minutes.
On Saturday, Ramdani Lestaluhu and Bambang Pamungkas were on target to help Persija Jakarta pull off a 2-1 comeback away to Borneo, Semen Padang defeated Perseru Serui 3-1, while an Elio Martins hat-trick fuelled PS TNI’s 3-0 triumph over Persegres Gresik United.
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Finally, Persib Bandung gave their fans some much-needed cheer in what has been a disappointing season as they beat Mitra Kukar 3-1 courtesy of goals from Febri Haryadi, Achmad Jufriyanto and Raphael Maitimo.
Photo credit: Bali United FC