PSM Makassar may not be one of more recognisable clubs in Indonesia compared to the likes of Persija Jakarta and Persipura Jayapura, but they are certainly making waves of their own in 2019.
With Persija floundering in AFC Cup 2019, it has been left to PSM to fly the flag for Indonesia and they certainly have given an excellent account thus far.
The only team in the ASEAN Zone yet to taste defeat this season, Darije Kalezic’s charges finished top of Group H with four wins and two draws to advance to the zonal semi-finals, where they will meet Vietnam’s Becamex Binh Duong starting with Wednesday’s first leg at the Go Dau Stadium.
Were Tampines unlucky to lose out to Binh Duong as best runners-up in AFC Cup 2019?
While PSM may not be as famous as some of their compatriots, they are actually a side with plenty of continental heritage with three previous appearances in the top-tier AFC Champions League in the 2000s.
Having netted 17 goals in their six matches so far in the AFC Cup, they have also been one of the competition’s most-exciting sides with Eero Markkanen providing a strong focal point in attack for the likes of Wiljan Pluim, Zulham Zamrun and Marc Klok to work around.
Defensively, however, they have had one or two nervy moments and that is where they could come unstuck against Binh Duong, who also have prior and more recent experience in the ACL, on Wednesday.
The V.League 1 outfit are no slouches themselves with 13 goals to their names in the group stage, boasting plenty of offensive firepower in the form of Vietnam international Nguyen Anh Duc and foreign imports Wander Luiz and Victor Mansaray.
Binh Duong have also proven to be capable of rising to the occasion, having needed to beat Ceres-Negros on the final day of the group stage to progress to the knockout stage and doing just that courtesy of a stunning 88th-minute winner by Wander.
View this post on Instagram
There has been plenty of attention surrounding the other ASEAN Zone semi-final between Ceres and Hanoi FC, which does indeed promise to be a captivating encounter.
Nonetheless, the ‘other’ clash – featuring two attacking-minded sides – could just prove to be equally interesting.