Sunday, September 09, 2007


Arema Malang v Sidoarjo Deltras 3-0

This East Javan Derby simmered for the first 15 minutes before exploding in a flurry of yellow cards and missed chances. In a 20 minute spell Arema ran riot as they tore Sidoarjo apart, especially down the right hand side. But all too often the final ball was poor or the fininshing woeful. It could have been game over but Arema weren't able to score until the 37th minute when Mbamba sent the Sidoarjo keeper the wrong way with a penalty.

The goal jolted the visitors, known as the Lobster, and twice in two minutes Arema had cause to thank the offside rule. Within seconds of falling behind Sidoarjo had the ball in the net. Seconds later and Sasa sliding in saw his effort beat Hendro in the Arema goal only to agonisingly scrape the far post. Both chances came from free kicks whipped into the danger area. Both times Arema got lucky.

In the last minute of injury time it was Deltras turn to thank lady luck. Ortizan broke down the right and his delicious cross found Mbamba in enough space to build an oil tanker. Unfortunately he was less accurate from open play than the spot kick and his head sailed harmlessly over the bar.

Half time 1-1

Second half and Arema double their lead. Slack defending at a corner saw Suroso have a free poke and Arema had the cushion their play deserved.

Sidoarjo, with their own galaxy of foreign legionnaires, were strangely quiet. Pranetto had moments and Sebastion threatened from set pieces but there was little of the cutting edge that had seen them score all but two of Deltras goals this season.

For Arema Mbamba was imperious driving from midfield at the heart of all their good work. He fully deserved his second, fortuitous though it was, as he found space in the box and his stab trickled beneath the visiting keeper.

Hendro Kartiko was replaced midway during the second half as he took a nasty knock while smothering a soft shot. Later TV shots showed him looking decidely grogging receiving treatment pitch side. Achmed Kurniawan took his place seamlessly between the sticks and soon saved well from a free kick. Arema are lucky indeed to have two of the best keepers in the country on their books.

Mbamba had a chance of a hat trick but finished wildly, lacking the subtlety and guile to beat the keeper from 8 yards.

Following on from the Persija v PSIS this was Indonesian football at its best. A large, fanatical crowd, two committed teams playing attacking football I really can't wait to visit Arema and drink the experience for my self. TV here doesn't come close to relaying the experience fully.

Hello from GR!
any info from Persema-Persija pls?
kick off 6.30 local time...keep checking this space for updates!
Thank you
1-0 persija...
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