Arema Cronus moved eight points clear in the Western zone of the Indonesia Super League on Saturday after claiming a 4-1 win over Barito Putera.
It was the visitors who drew first blood at the Demang Lehman Stadium in the 25th minute when Beto found space outside the box and shrugged off a challenge from Agus Cima, before drilling a shot that was too powerful for Joko Ribowo to keep out.
A minute after the half-hour mark, Thierry Gathuessi doubled his side’s lead when he met Gustavo Lopez’s lofted pass with a stunning overhead kick that looped over Joko and into the back of the net.
By now, Arema were firmly in control of proceedings and added a third in the 39th minute after Cristian Gonzales latched onto Hendro Siswanto’s slide-rule pass and advanced on goal, before coolly placing his shot into the bottom corner.
Barito did manage to pull one back a minute later when James Koko Lomell poked his shot home on the rebound, after opposition keeper Kurnia Meiga had initially done brilliantly to keep out Abanda Herman’s powerful header.
Nonetheless, the hosts never really threatened to force their way back into the contest and Singo Edan went on to wrap up the victory five minutes before fulltime; Samsul Arif receiving a neat pass from I Gede Sukadana and firing away a left-footed shot that was fumbled over the line by Joko.
In Saturday’s other game, Persebaya Surabaya moved three points behind Eastern zone leaders Mitra Kukar after recording a 3-0 triumph over Persiram Raja Ampat at the Maguwoharjo Stadium.
After Greg Nwokolo had fired the Green Crocodiles ahead in the 21st minute, Emmanuel Kenmogne found the back of the net to double their lead eight minutes after halftime.
And six minutes after the hour mark, Alfin Tuasalamony weighed in with a third goal to seal the win for the visitors.
The victory means Persebaya are now just three points behind Mitra with a game in hand.
Saturday’s Indonesia Super League Results
Persiram Raja Ampat 0-3 Persebaya Surabaya
Barito Putera 1-4 Arema Cronus