Persija thump Tampines to get up and running in AFC Cup

Gabriel Tan Gabriel Tan

Persija Jakarta got their first points of their 2018 AFC Cup campaign on Wednesday after beating Tampines Rovers 4-1 at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium.

The Indonesian outfit broke the deadlock after 12 minutes when Riko Simanjuntak tore down the right and cut a pass back to Marko Simic, who clinically finished past Syazwan Buhari.

Rezaldi Hehanusa then doubled the hosts’ advantage four minutes before the break, venturing forward and cutting onto his right foot before unleashing an unstoppable shot into the far corner.

The visitors were however handed a lifeline three minutes into the second half when Persija were reduced to ten men, after Jaime caught Khairul Amri in the face with a stray arm and was shown a second yellow.

Still, Stefano Cugurra’s charges remained firmly in control of proceedings and added a third in the 74th minute; Simic racing onto Ramdani Lestaluhu’s through-pass from the halfway line to net his second of the evening.

Tampines did manage to pull one back three minutes later when Ryutaro Megumi did well to create space for himself on the right and float in a cross over opposition keeper Andritany Ardhiyasa, paving the way for Khairul Amri to head into an unguarded net.

But, four minutes from time, Simic once again got in behind the Stags backline and send an emphatic strike into the back of the net to seal a fine display from Persjia.

With the victory, Persija now move level with second-placed Johor Darul Ta’zim and are three points behind leaders Song Lam Nghe An, who they play home and away over the next fortnight.

PERSIJA JAKARTA: Andritany Ardhiyasa, Ismed Sofyan, Jaime, Maman Abdurrahman, Rezaldi Hehanusa, Sandi Darma Suta (Asri Akbar 88’), Ramdani Lestaluhu (Nugroho Fatchurahman 77′), Rohit Chand, Riko Simanjuntak, Addison Alves (Rudi Widodo 62’), Marko Simic.

TAMPINES ROVERS: Syazwan Buhari, Irwan Shah, Daniel Bennett (Irfan Najeeb 77’), Fahrudin Mustafic, Afiq Yunos (Zulfadhmi Suzliman 60’), Safirul Sulaiman, Amirul Adli, Fazrul Nawaz (Shah Shahiran 81’), Yasir Hanapi, Ryutaro Megumi, Khairul Amri.