Pelita Bandung Raya are through to the second round of the Indonesia Super League after sealing a top-four finish in the Western zone by beating Persita Tangerang 3-1 on Friday.
Following a goalless first half at the Singa Perbangsa Stadium, the visitors took the lead four minutes before the hour mark when Bambang Pamungkas netted from the penalty spot, although Persita equalised in the 68th minute through a Kenji Adachihara strike.
However, Talaohu Musafri fired Pelita back in front nine minutes later and grabbed his second of the afternoon three minutes from time to wrap up the three points for his side.
The win was enough to keep them one point clear of fifth-placed Persija Jakarta, whose 3-1 win over ten-man Barito Putera at the Gelora Bung Karno ultimately proved futile.
While Persija headed into the game knowing progress was no longer achievable, they still showed good spirit and broke the deadlock after ten minutes when Fabiano Beltrame found the back of the net.
Seven minutes later, Ngurah Nanak doubled their lead although Dedi Hartono pulled one back for Barito six minutes before the break.
Still, Macan Kemayoran always remained in control and added a third when Beltrame struck again in the 77th minute, before the visitors’ hopes of a fightback were ended when Rizky Ripora was sent off five minutes from the end.
Over at the Gelora Sriwijaya Jakabaring, Persib Bandung overtook Semen Padang in second place after claiming a 3-2 triumph over Sriwijaya.
It was the visitors who drew first blood in the 13th minute when Tantan skipped inside his man with a brilliant turn and advanced into the box, before blasting a shot past Selsius Gebze at the near post.
Two minutes before the half-hour mark, they doubled their lead after Makan Konate was given too much space and sent a stunning 30-yard drive into the far corner.
Syakir Sulaiman managed to pull one back for the hosts six minutes later when he met Siswanto’s corner with a bullet header in off the bar, only for Atep Rizal to restore Persib’s two-goal cushion in the 85th minute with a ferocious strike from outside the area.
Sriwijaya managed to reduce the deficit once more in the final minute when Rizky Dwi Ramadhana scored on the rebound after his initial effort had come back off the woodwork, but it proved to be a mere consolation as their opponents held out for the win.
Leaders Arema Cronus will head into the second round brimming with confidence after recording an emphatic 8-0 win over bottom side Persijap Jepara at the Gelora Bumi Kartini.
Having edged ahead after ten minutes through a Beto effort, the visitors went on to gain a stranglehold on the contest after goals from Ahmad Bustomi and Cristian Gonzales put them 3-0 up at halftime.
Yet, they refused to take their foot off the pedal and I Gede Sukadana added a fourth eight minutes into the second half, before Persijap’s night got worse when Agung Suprayogi scored an own-goal in the 73rd minute.
Samsul Arif then got in on the act a minute later, before a Thierry Gathuessi penalty and Johan Alfarizi’s second goal of the season finished off a ruthless display by Singo Edan.
Friday’s last encounter in the Western zone saw Persik Kediri beat Gresik United 3-0 at the Brawijaya Stadium to leapfrog their opponents into eighth spot.
A Ngon Mamoun penalty had handed the hosts a 37th-minute lead, before Syaiful Cahya made it 2-0 on the hour mark.
From then on, Persik were never ever in any danger of losing their grip on proceedings although for good measure, Rendy Irawan popped up with another in injury-time to round off the scoring for his side.
Over in the East, Persela Lamongan advanced to the second round despite a 3-1 defeat to Perseru Serui at the Surajaya Stadium.
After Jean Paul Casimir Boumsong had fired Perseru in front from the penalty spot after six minutes, Arthur Barrios Bonai struck to double their advantage in the 17th minute.
Just three minutes later, the contest was effectively over when Ali Khaddafi added a third for the visitors, although Persela managed a consolation strike from Roman Golian on the half-hour mark.
Despite the defeat, the Joko Tingkir Warriors still managed to finish inside the top four after closest challengers PSM Makassar and Persiba Balikpapan both fell to shock defeats.
PSM were initially on course for victory in their game against Mitra Kukar at the Aji Imbut Stadium after taking a 30th-minute lead through a Mamadou Lamarana Diallo strike.
But five minutes after the hour mark, Reinaldo Lobo equalised for Mitra before Herman Dzumafo Epandi struck six minutes from time to end PSM’s hopes.
Likewise, Persiba Balikpapan also had only themselves to blame after throwing away a two-goal lead to lose 3-2 to Persiba Bantul at the Sultan Agung Stadium.
An Ansu Toure brace inside the opening 16 minutes had put the visitors in a strong position, although Wusono Budi Ugik Sugiyanto managed to pull one back for Persiba Bantul three minutes after the half-hour mark.
Sunni Hizbullah then found the back of the net in the 63rd minute to level the scores and with eight minutes remaining, Ugik Sugiyanto struck again to complete a stunning comeback from the hosts.
The result at the Surajaya Stadium also had a big impact at the other end of the table as it allowed Perseru to avoid the drop at the expense of Persepam Madura United, who were relegated following a 2-1 loss to Persipura Jayapura.
A draw had initially been on the cards at the Gelora Bangkalan after Yohanes Pahabol’s seventh-minute opener for the visitors was cancelled out immediately after by an equaliser from Persepam striker Silvio Escobar.
Nonetheless, in the first minute of injury-time, Robertino Pugliara notched his first league goal for Persipura and handed them maximum points in the process.
The defeat meant Persepam, Perseru and Persiram Raja Ampat all finished on 23 points, although it was the former who were relegated in tenth place due to their inferior head-to-head record.
Finally, table-toppers Persebaya Surabaya finished off the first round with a 0-0 draw against Putra Samarinda at the Segiri Stadium.
Friday’s Indonesia Super League Results
Persela Lamongan 1-3 Perseru Serui
Persiba Bantul 3-2 Persiba Balikpapan
Putra Samarinda 0-0 Persebaya Surabaya
Mitra Kukar 2-1 PSM Makassar
Persepam Madura United 1-2 Persipura Jayapura
Persijap Jepara 0-8 Arema Cronus
Persik Kediri 3-0 Gresik United
Sriwijaya 2-3 Persib Bandung
Persija Jakarta 3-1 Barito Putera
Persita Tangerang 1-3 Pelita Bandung Raya