Semen Padang maintain pursuit; Persiba up to fifth

Semen Padang moved two points behind Western zone leaders Arema Cronus in the Indonesia Super League on Friday after beating Persib Bandung 3-1.

Kabau Sirah took the lead at the Haji Agus Salim Stadium in the 33rd minute when the ball broke free to Esteban Gabriel Vizcarra after Hendra Bayauw had run straight at the opposition defence; the Argentine making no mistake in slotting through I Made Wirawan’s legs.

But on the stroke of halftime, Persib managed to pull level after Abdul Rahman Sulaiman climbed highest to meet Firman Utina’s corner and squeezed his header in at the back post.

Still, the hosts managed to reclaim the lead seven minutes after the hour mark when Nur Iskandar broke free inside the box after squeezing through a couple of defenders, before beating I Made at his near post.

And a minute later, they went on to make sure of the victory when Vizcarra grabbed his second goal of the evening; latching onto Osas Saha’s cross and creating space for himself before firing a left-footed shot into the back of the net.

To make matters worse for the visitors, they finished the game with ten men after Ferdinand Sinaga was sent off in the 71st minute.

The victory allowed Semen Padang to reduce the gap between them and Arema to just two points, although the league leaders now have two games in hand.

Elsewhere in the Western zone, bottom side Persijap Jepara caused a real upset as they claimed only their second win of the campaign by defeating Sriwijaya 1-0.

The only goal of the game at the Gelora Bumi Kartini arrived on the half-hour mark when Rahmat Rivai found the back of the net, handing his side a much-needed victory in the process.

Over in the East, Persiba Balikpapan climbed four spots up to fifth after recording a 2-0 triumph over Perseru Serui at the Persiba Stadium.

The hosts broke the deadlock in the 34th minute after a defensive mix-up by the opposition saw Bilibig Dian Mahrus send a headed clearance into the back of Seme Pattrick, paving the way for Pape Latyr N’Diaye to pounce on the loose ball and fire home.

And eight minutes from time, Persiba went on to seal the victory when Ahmad Sembiring met Rendy Siregar’s corner at the near post with a glancing header that Teguh Amiruddin was unable to prevent from crossing the line.

Friday’s Indonesia Super League Results

Eastern

Persiba Balikpapan 2-0 Perseru Serui

Western

Persijap Jepara 1-0 Sriwijaya

Semen Padang 3-1 Persib Bandung

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