Persib stay top in AFC Cup; Global claim first-ever triumph

Persib Bandung remain top of Group H in the AFC Cup despite playing out a 0-0 draw with Lao Toyota at the New Laos National Stadium on Wednesday.

Despite entering the clash as favourites to claim the win, the Indonesian Super League giants were unable to find a way past their stubborn opponents, who showed great resilience throughout the 90 minutes.

Nonetheless, the result keeps Persib unbeaten in the campaign with a two-point lead at the top, and they remain on course for a place in the Round of 16.

Meanwhile, Ayeyawady United were unable to fully capitalise on Persib’s slip-up as they were also held to a 0-0 draw by New Radiant at the Thuwunna Stadium to remain in second place.

Over in Group G, it was a monumental day for Philippine outfit Global as they beat nine-man Yadanarbon 4-1 to claim their maiden win in the tournament, in what was also the first match to be played at the new Philippine Sports Stadium in Bocaue.

Mark Hartmann got them on their way with a 16th-minute penalty after Renato Gonzalez’s freekick had been handled inside the box, although Yan Paing equalised for the visitors four minutes later.

However, the hosts reclaimed the lead through another Hartmann strike six minutes before halftime, before Misagh Bahadoran made it 3-1 in the 58th minute with a fine individual effort.

Things then got from bad to worse for the Myanmar National League outfit when Zaw Linn Tun was shown a straight red in the 70th minute, although Hartmann spurned an excellent chance to complete his hat-trick shortly after when his penalty was saved by Thiha Sithu.

But any hopes the visitors had of a comeback were ended in the 76th minute when they also had Tin Win Aung sent off for a second bookable offence, and Global went on to complete the rout six minutes from time when Gonzalez added a fourth from a freekick.

The result also means Global are back in the hunt for a place in the knockout round, after second-placed Pahang were beaten 3-1 by table-topping South China at the Mong Kok Stadium.

After Philip Chan had fired the hosts ahead in the 11th minute, Lo Kong Wai found the back of the net seven minutes into the second half to put them firmly in control of proceedings.

Jack Sealy then struck four minutes later to effectively put the result beyond doubt, although the Malaysian visitors did grab a consolation in the 62nd minute through a Dickson Nwakaeme strike.

Wednesday’s AFC Cup Results

Group G

South China 3-1 Pahang

Global 4-1 Yadanarbon

Group H

Ayeyawady United 0-0 New Radiant

Lao Toyota 0-0 Persib Bandung

Singapore to meet Indonesia; Thais face Malaysia, Vietnam

Hosts Singapore’s hopes of advancing to the semi-finals of the 2015 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games were handed a boost on Wednesday after they were handed a fairly favourable draw.

Seeded as hosts for the Under-23 tournament, the Lions were drawn in Group A alongside Indonesia, Myanmar, Cambodia and Philippines.

With only the top two progressing to the last four, it looks like Singapore will be battling for qualification with the Indonesians and Myanmar.

Nonetheless, Cambodia will be confident in their prospects having recorded a 2-1 win over Singapore just last month, while Philippines have taken huge strides in recent years and are now considered a legitimate threat in the region.

But it appears most of the drama will come in Group B after defending champions Thailand were pitted against 2011 winners Malaysia, Vietnam, Laos, Brunei Darussalam and Timor-Leste.

Under Kiatisuk Senamuang, who also guided the senior team to victory at the 2014 AFF Suzuki Cup, the Thais are favourites to finish top with Malaysia and Vietnam expected to battle it out for the second qualifying berth.

However, with the likes of Soukaphone Vongchiengkham and Ketsada Souksavanh to call upon, Laos could just spring an upset or two along the way.

2015 Southeast Asian Games Draw

Group A: Singapore, Indonesia, Myanmar, Cambodia, Philippines

Group B: Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Laos, Brunei Darussalam, Timor-Leste

JDT exact revenge on Kitchee; Persipura held in AFC Cup

Malaysia Super League giants Johor Darul Ta’zim moved top of Group F in the AFC Cup on Tuesday after recording a 2-0 win over Hong Kong’s Kitchee at the Larkin Stadium.

Luciano Figueroa got Harimau Selatan on their way when he opened the scoring in the 18th minute, before Safiq Rahim made sure of the result when he converted from the penalty spot a minute before halftime, after S. Chanturu had been brought down inside the area.

The result ensured JDT exacted revenge on their opponents after being beaten by the same scoreline in their previous encounter in Hong Kong last month, and was enough to hand them a two-point lead at the top of the table.

In Group F’s other game, Indian outfit East Bengal claimed their first win of the campaign after cruising to a 3-0 triumph over Balestier Khalsa of Singapore at the Salt Lake Stadium.

Baldeep Singh broke the deadlock for the hosts when he headed home a corner in the 22nd minute, before they doubled their advantage in the 71st minute through a Nurullah Hussein own-goal.

And four minutes later, the contest was effectively ended when Ranti Martins kept his cool to score with a close-range finish for East Bengal’s third goal of the evening.

Over in Group E, Indonesia Super League giants Persipura Jayapura’s perfect record of three straight wins came to an end as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Maldives’ Maziya at the Mandala Stadium.

Bengaluru took a step close to qualification as they moved five points clear in second place in the group with a 1-0 win over S.League champions Warriors FC, which was also enough to end their opponents’ hopes of advancing to the knockout round.

Following a goalless first half at the Jalan Besar Stadium, the winner arrived in the 76th minute when Robin Singh did well to twist his way free on the edge of the box before finding the bottom corner with a perfectly-placed left-footed shot.

Tuesday’s AFC Cup Results

Group E

Persipura Jayapura 0-0 Maziya

Warriors FC 0-1 Bengaluru

Group F

East Bengal 3-0 Balestier Khalsa

Johor Darul Ta’zim 2-0 Kitchee

Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia to meet; Lions set for Japan duel

Three of Southeast Asia’s traditional heavyweights – Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia – will face off in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers are they were all drawn in Group F on Tuesday.

The draw for the second round of qualification took place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and saw a total of ten teams from Southeast Asia find out their path to the 2018 World Cup in Russia, which will see each of them play eight matches from June to next March.

Apart from the World Cup, the qualifiers will also double up for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, which means Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia all stand an excellent chance of progressing to the continent’s biggest tournament.

Although Iraq are favourites to finish top of Group F, the trio of Southeast Asian countries will all fancy their prospects of fighting it out for second place, given the remaining team is minnows Chinese Taipei.

Over in Group E, Singapore and Cambodia both face a tricky route to the next round after being pitted against Asian giants Japan, Syria and Afghanistan.

Malaysia find themselves in Group A along with regional rivals Timor-Leste, although they will be aware they will have to get a result against either United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia or Palestine to have any chance of advancing to the Asian Cup.

Neighbours Myanmar and Laos will meet in Group G along with Korea Republic, Kuwait and Lebanon, while Philippines face Uzbekistan, Bahrain, Korea DPR and Yemen in Group H.

2018 FIFA World Cup Second Round Qualifying Draw

Group A: United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Timor Leste, Malaysia

Group B: Australia, Jordan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Bangladesh

Group C: China, Qatar, Maldives, Bhutan, Hong Kong

Group D: Iran, Oman, India, Turkmenistan, Guam

Group E: Japan, Syria, Afghanistan, Singapore, Cambodia

Group F: Iraq, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Chinese Taipei

Group G: Korea Republic, Kuwait, Lebanon, Myanmar, Laos

Group H: Uzbekistan, Bahrain, Philippines, Korea DPR, Yemen

Gresik notch third straight win; Sriwijaya fight back for draw

Gresik United maintained their perfect start to the 2015 Indonesia Super League season on Saturday evening after recording a 1-0 win over Barito Putera.

The only goal of the game at the May 17th Stadium came after just five minutes when Herman Dzumafo Epandi found the back of the net, which ultimately proved enough to hand the visitors maximum points.

However, they did have to endure a nervy finish to the match as they played out over half an hour with ten men, following the 56th-minute dismissal of Serbian centre-back Sasa Zecevic.

Over at the Andi Mattalatta Stadium, a spirited display from Sriwijaya saw them come from behind thrice to play out a 3-3 draw against PSM Makassar.

Although Syamsul Chaeruddin had broken the deadlock for the hosts in the 28th minute, new signing Goran Ljubojevic equalised for Sriwijaya a minute before halftime.

Nemanja Vucicevic did restore PSM’s lead nine minutes into the second half when he netted from the spot, but Elang Andalas hit back again in the 70th minute – this time through Morimakan Koita, who opened his account for the club since joining in the off-season.

It did look as though Hans-Peter Schaller’s charges had done enough for the win when they edged ahead for the third time seven minutes later through a strike from Aditya Putra Dewa.

But with five minutes remaining, Ljubojevic struck again to earn Sriwijaya a deserved share of the spoils.

Saturday’s Indonesia Super League Results

PSM Makassar 3-3 Sriwijaya

Barito Putera 0-1 Gresik United

Persipura fight back for big win; Gresik edge five-goal thriller

Persipura Jayapura made it two wins in a row in the Indonesia Super League on Wednesday after coming from behind to beat Bali United Pusam at the Mandala Stadium.

The visitors got off to a dream start when Lerby Eliandry netted after just four minutes, racing through on goal after a costly slip by Ricardo Salampessy and slotting past Dede Sulaiman.

Right on the half-hour mark, Eliandry struck again when he broke free inside the box and rifled a left-footed shot into the top corner.

However, Mutiara Hitam managed to pull one back just before the break when Tinus Pae fired home from close range after Yoo Jae-hoon could only parry a shot into his path.

And in the 67th minute, they pulled level after being awarded a penalty which was converted by Zulham Zamrun, who coolly sent Yoo the wrong way.

Remarkably, Persipura then took the lead in the 81st minute when Boaz Solossa struck with a close-range finish at the back post and edged further ahead five minutes later through Robertino Pugliara’s glancing header, before Zulham grabbed his second of the evening with a lovely shot on the turn in the 90th minute to wrap up the victory.

Over at the Tridarma Stadium, Gresik United also showed tremendous resolve to come from behind twice and beat Mitra Kukar 3-2.

It was Mitra who drew first blood in the 35th minute when Septian David Maulana pounced on a loose ball and blasted a shot into the back of the net, only for Yusuf Effendi to equalise three minutes later with a looping volley over a stranded Rivky Mokodompit.

The visitors reclaimed the lead on the stroke of halftime when Diego Muhammad was left unmarked to firmly head home a corner but Gresik responded once more in the 59th minute; Muhammad Kamri sending an unstoppable left-footed drive into the far corner after being set up by Herman Dzumafo Epandi.

Five minutes later, Kebo Giras went on to claim the win when Supriyono Salimin found a yard of space inside the area and deftly lifted the ball over Rivky, and to make matters worse for Mitra, they finished the game with ten men as David Maulana was sent off in the closing stages after picking up two yellows in four minutes.

Meanwhile, Persebaya Surabaya were unable to maintain their winning start to the campaign after playing out a 1-1 draw with newly-promoted Pusamania Borneo at the Gelora Bung Tomo.

Things could have been worse for the hosts as Srdan Lopicic had fired Pusamania in front in the 68th minute, but Emile Mbamba scored in the third minute of injury-time to earn them a share of the spoils.

Finally, there was also no separating Perseru Serui and Persiram Raja Ampat as they played out a 1-1 draw at the Marora Stadium.

Ali Khaddafi struck to break the deadlock for Perseru after six minutes, although the visitors went on to claim a point courtesy of Georges Mbida Messi’s 48th-minute equaliser.

Wednesday’s Indonesia Super League Results

Persipura Jayapura 5-2 Bali United Pusam

Perseru Serui 1-1 Persiram Raja Ampat

Gresik United 3-2 Mitra Kukar

Persebaya Surabaya 1-1 Pusamania Borneo

Persib win two in a row; Arema edge Barito Putera

Defending champions Persib Bandung made it two wins in a row in the Indonesia Super League on Tuesday after recording a 3-0 victory over local rivals Pelita Bandung Raya.

Following a goalless first half at the Si Jalak Harupat Stadium, Atep Rizal put the hosts in front three minutes after the break when he got in ahead of his marker at the far post to divert a right-wing cross into the back of the net.

Persib then doubled their lead in the 73rd minute when he met Dedi Kusnandar’s corner with an unstoppable header into the top corner, before Muhammad Taufiq wrapped up the win six minutes from time after his low shot trickled over the line even though opposition keeper Deniss Romanovs managed to get a hand to it.

Over at the Kanjuruhan Stadium, Arema Cronus got their first win of the campaign after beating Barito Putera 1-0.

Brazilian centre-back Fabiano Beltrame, who netted twice in last Saturday’s 4-4 draw with Persija Jakarta, was the hero again as he scored from the penalty spot in the 68th minute to hand his side maximum points.

Meanwhile, Persija Jakarta are still looking for their first win after falling to a shock 1-0 defeat to Persela Lamongan at the Surajaya Stadium; Cameroonian centre-back David Pagbe popping up to net the winner for the hosts in the second minute of injury-time.

Finally, Sriwijaya came from behind twice to force a 2-2 draw against Semen Padang to maintain their unbeaten start to the season.

It was Semen Padang who drew first blood in the 20th minute after Nur Iskandar shifted the ball onto his left foot outside the box, before rifling a ferocious shot into the far corner.

However, six minutes after the half-hour mark, Raphael Maitimo responded for the hosts when he curled home a sublime freekick from the edge of the area in off the post.

Nonetheless, Kabau Sirah reclaimed the lead a minute before halftime after the opposition defence failed to clear their lines, allowing Hendra Bayauw to force the ball into the back of the net despite the best efforts of Dian Agus Prasetyo.

And it looked as though Sriwijaya had wasted their chance to force the draw when they were awarded a penalty for handball in the 63rd minute, only for Maitimo to fire away a tame effort that was comfortably beaten away by Jandia Putra.

But with 13 minutes left on the clock, Ferdinand Sinaga reacted quickest to poke home on the rebound after Titus Bonai’s initial effort had been saved, earning Elang Andalas a share of the spoils in the process.

Tuesday’s Indonesia Super League Results

Persib Bandung 3-0 Pelita Bandung Raya

Sriwijaya 2-2 Semen Padang

Persela Lamongan 1-0 Persija Jakarta

Arema Cronus 1-0 Barito Putera