Bali United claimed a two-point lead at the top of the Indonesia Liga 1 on Monday after recording a last-gasp 1-0 win over title rivals PSM Makassar at the Andi Mattalatta Stadium.
In a keenly-contested encounter that went down to the wire, it initially looked as though both sides would have to settle for a share of the spoils, which would have done neither of them any good in their respective title bids.
But, in the fifth and final minute of injury-time, a sweeping counterattack saw Sylvano Comvalius race down the right and lay the ball into the path of Stefano Lilipaly, who made no mistake in finishing from close range to hand the visitors the victory.
The result was enough to see Bali move clear at the Liga 1 summit with one round left to go, with Bhayangkara two points behind them in second place with a game in hand.
Bhayangkara could have found themselves level with the leaders but were held to a 1-1 draw by Mitra Kukar on Friday.
Things could have been even worse for them as Mitra took the lead courtesy of Marclei Santos’ 11th-minute opener; the Brazilian converting from the penalty spot after Yogi Rahadian had been brought down inside the box by Awan Setho Raharjo.
Nonetheless, four minutes before the hour mark, Ilija Spasojevic converted a Dendy Sulistyawan cross from five yards out to earn his side what could still prove to be a valuable point.
Bhayangkara can move top by winning their game in hand against Madura United on Wednesday, two days before the final round of fixtures get underway.
Friday’s other game saw Bruno Lopes net the only goal of the game in the 77th minute to help Persija Jakarta beat Persib Bandung 1-0.
It was a week filled with goals largely due to big wins posted by Arema and Sriwijaya.
Arema’s comprehensive triumph came in a 5-3 victory over Semen Padang on Saturday, in which they raced to a three-goal advantage inside the opening half-hour courtesy of a Arif Suyono brace and a strike from Johan Alfarizi.
Dendi Santoso and Esteban Vizcarra then got in on the act in the second half to seal a dominant display by the hosts, although Semen Padang did restore some respectability to the scoreline courtesy of late goals from Irsyad Maulana (2) and Agung Prasetyo.
[FULL TIME] @sriwijayafc.id 10 vs 2 @persegresfc . @sriwijayafc.id: 7' Alberto Goncalves ⚽ 14' Tijani Belaid ⚽ 29' Tijani Belaid ⚽ 37' Alberto Goncalves ⚽ 38' Slamet Budiyono ⚽ 45+1' Hilton Moreira ⚽ 49' Slamet Budiyono ⚽ 54' Hilton Moreira ⚽ 66' Alberto Goncalves ⚽ 86' Slamet Budiyono ⚽ @persegresfc: 21' Gufroni Al Maruf ⚽ 64' Ahmad Sembiring ⚽ 12 gol tercipta di Bumi Sriwijaya, Laskar Wong Kito tumbangkan Laskar Joko Samudro.
Not to be outdone, Sriwijaya bettered that on Sunday as they romped to a 10-2 win over already-relegated Persegres Gresik United at the Bumi Sriwijaya Stadium.
Beto and Slamet Budiyono both notched hat-tricks while Tijani Belaid and Hilton Moreira scored two goals apiece, with Persegres’ consolation efforts coming from Gufroni Al Maruf and Ahmad Sembiring.
— Go-Jek Traveloka L1 (@Liga1Match) November 6, 2017
Elsewhere on Sunday, Madura United kept their faint title hopes alive by beating Barito Putera 3-1, while Persela Lamongan played out a 2-2 draw with Persiba Balikpapan.
Saturday’s other matches saw Persipura Jayapura’s title bid officially ended as they failed to hold on to the lead in a 2-1 defeat at the hands of PS TNI, while Silvio Escobar netted twice to hand Perseru Serui a 3-2 triumph over Borneo and take them out of the relegation zone.
Photo credit: Go-Jek Traveloka Liga 1