Bhayangkara's Ilija Spasojevic celebrates the winning goal with Evan Dimas. (Photo courtesy of Bhayangkara FC)

Bhayangkara Beats Semen Padang, Remains Liga 1 Leader

BY :AMAL GANESHA

SEPTEMBER 16, 2017

Jakarta. Police-affiliated football club Bhayangkara beat Semen Padang 2-1 at Agus Salim Stadium in Padang, West Sumatra, on Friday (15/09) to maintain top spot in the table of Indonesia's top-tier league Liga 1.

Bhayangkara, managed by Scottish coach Simon McMenemy, has now retained five consecutive wins in the league.

The club, nicknamed "The Guardian" conceded one goal in the 16th minute with the host's superfast winger Riko Simanjuntak finishing a long-range pass from teammate Irsyad Maulana.

Bhayangkara's Guy Junior almost gave an equalizer after 35 minutes with his strike inside the box going wide.

Bhayangkara finally equalized in the 58th minute through its center-back Otavio Dutra, who sent a header after a cross from left-back Dany Saputra.

Semen Padang's Vendry Mofu could have scored in the 60th minute if his first touch close to the goal was not too heavy to trap Bhayangkara's goalie Fauzal Mubaraq.

Both teams played with 10-men squads, as in the 84th minute referee Rysbek Sherkerbekov of Kyrgyzstan gave red cards to Semen Padang's Boas Atururi and Bhayangkara's Paulo Sergio.

A minute later Bhayangkara's Evan Dimas's free-kick hit the bar making Semen Padang's keeper Jandia Putra panic.

Bhayangkara's striker Ilija Spasojevic scored a dramatic goal in injury time to beat Jandia in the box with Evan's assist.

"It was as tight and intense as expected. Credit to Spasojevic who's indeed brought here to be the game changer," McMenemy said after the match, as quoted in a press release.

Bhayangkara now tops Liga 1 with 49 points, followed by Bali United, who beat Persija Jakarta 2-1 on the same day, with 48 points. The league will end in November.

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