Group G: Shan United FC 1-3 Persija Jakarta
Yangon: Indonesia's Persija Jakarta staged a comeback in the second half to beat Shan United of Myanmar 3-1 on Matchday Two of the 2019 AFC Cup Group G on Tuesday.
The hosts took a surprise lead through Reo Nakamura just inside the 15-minute mark, but Persija came out strongly after the interval and levelled through Bruno Matos midway through the second half.
Steven Paulle put Persija in front with 13 minutes to play and Matos wrapped up proceedings in the final 10 minutes as Ivan Kolev’s side claimed their first win of the campaign.
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The visitors were on top from the get-go and should have taken the lead inside 10 minutes when Riko Simanjuntak’s deep corner from the left was knocked back across goal by Silvio Escobar and then headed over from just a few yards out by Heri Susanto.
Shan then opened the scoring in the 14th minute, after some fine interchange play between Zin Min Tun and Yan Naing Oo down the left, the latter’s low cross was almost diverted into his own net by Paulle before Nakamura pounced to finish after goalkeeper Shahar Ginanjar had parried the ball out.
The hosts continued to cause Persija problems down the left flank, with Brazilian Maycon also looking lively, but poor final balls into the box ensured they didn’t inflict further damage.
Indeed, the Indonesian champions could have gone into the interval all square but Matos’ fabulous free-kick from fully 40 yards rattled the crossbar.
The visitors started the stronger after half-time and had a chance to level shortly before the hour when goalkeeper Myo Min Latt was penalised for picking up a back-pass. Matos lined up the free-kick from 12 yards, but saw his powerful drive deflected over the bar.
Matos finally got his goal just minutes later, though, when he latched onto a lovely through-ball by Heri and coolly slotted past Myo Min Latt.
Persija were now completely dominant and should have gone in front five minutes later when Matos slipped a neat ball to Heri, but the midfielder was thwarted by the Shan custodian from close range.
But Shan could not hang on for much longer as the visitors took a deserved lead in the 77th minute when French defender Paulle side-footed home Ismed Sofyan’s corner from the right.
The visitors then put the result beyond doubt with seven minutes remaining after breaking from inside their own half in a move involving both Riko and Nepali international Rohit Chand, who squared for Matos to finish from inside the box.
Persija now have four points from their opening two Group G games and next travel to the Philippines to face Ceres Negros in three weeks’ time. Shan prop up the table having yet to pick up a point, and they will next host Vietnam’s Becamex Binh Duong at the beginning of April.
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