Late Volley Secures Dramatic Point for Persib in Tigers’ Den
Maman Abdurahman salvaged a late point for Persib Bandung as it drew 2-2 at Persija Jakarta on Sunday in one of Indonesian football’s fiercest rivalries.
Persib broke Jakmania hearts with an injury-time equalizer at Gelora Bung Karno, keeping the West Java side unbeaten against Persija this season in the Indonesian Super League after a 1-0 win in Bandung on Jan. 29.
The draw left Persija in fourth place on 45 points, dampening any thoughts among the capital club’s faithful of the Kemayoran Tigers making a push for the league title.
Persija coach Iwan Setiawan said he was disappointed with the failure to capitalize on home advantage. “It’s not a good result as we should’ve won this game. We lacked focus and Persib’s second goal was good evidence,” Iwan said.
Persib climbed into seventh place with 36 points after the draw.
After a goalless first 45 minutes, the clash of the archrivals sprang to life. Persib’s attacking play was rewarded a minute after the restart as midfielder Atep side-stepped a Persija defender and beat goalkeeper Andritany Ardhiyasa with a shot in the 46th minute.
Briefly stunned after going behind, Persija regained its composure and took the game to Persib. The host equalized in the 64th after Ramdani Lestaluhu headed in Bambang Pamungkas’s cross.
Victory looked to be in Persija’s sights after Singapore defender Precious Emuejeraye headed home from a corner kick in the 71st minute. Just as the Jakmania was set to start partying, though, Maman spoiled their fun.
The defender’s first-time volley from a Miljan Radovic corner kick struck the crossbar and spun over the goal line, giving Persib a share of the spoils.
“I’m quite satisfied with the result. Of course we wanted to win, but a draw is OK,” Persib coach Robby Darwis said.
ISL leader Sriwijaya FC opened a wider gap at the top with 1-0 win over second-place Persipura Jayapura at home.
Keith Kayamba Gumbs’ first half penalty took Sriwijaya to 11 points lead ahead of Persipura in the standings.
In the officially sanctioned Indonesian Premier League, Persebaya Surabaya rose to sixth place after a 2-0 home defeat of Persibo Bojonegoro. It was Persebaya’s second straight win at Gelora 10 November after a three-match losing skid.
Andik Vermansyah, who played for an IPL Selection against Inter Milan on Thursday, and Argentine striker Fernando Soler each scored a goal for the East Java side.