Thursday, July 27, 2006


Kediri v Minahasa

Kediri, in their horrible two tone purple shirts, flew out the blocks in this the first play off semi final and the only surprise was that after 30 minutes they were only ahead 2-0, with one from Gonzalez. They were slicing through the yellow shirted Minahasans like a knife through margarine creating chance after chance but at the halfway mark it was still 2-0.

Second half Minahasa showed a lot more up front and even had a goal struck off for offside. Replays were inconclusive but surely the FIFA directive is give the benefit of the doubt to the attacking side.

Likewise it is normal when a defender pushes an attacking player in the penalty area that a spot kick is given. Kediri weren’t given one, Minahasa broke and a speculative shot by Toldeo from 25 yards took a slight deflection and squirmed under the rarely troubled Kediri keeper and it was 2-1 on 70 minutes.

There was plenty of time for Minahasa to claw their way back into the game but you always felt Kediri had something in reserve. Gonzalez showed his human side by hitting the post with a point blank header which must have given the Yellows hope but it would have been short lived. Kediri replaced the dangerous looking Budi and on 78 minutes some fancy ball juggling in the Minahasa box by Edy restored the two goal cushion for Kediri.

One thing about Christian Gonzalez. Lesser players, which about sums up the other 99% of p;ayers in this league should take a look at the way this goal machine conducts himself on the pitch. Not for him the dying swan act every time he gets clattered and of course he does get clattered pretty often, it’s the only way lesser men can stop him. He is an important addition to the league who genuinely raises the level of Indonesian football and hopefully others, not just his team mates like Budi and hariyanto, can learn from him.

At the end Kediri were comfortable winners. Minahasa had pipped them to the eastern Division but the East Java side had just too much for the surprise package from North Sulawesi.

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