Matchday Six - Group H: Tampines Rovers FC 2-4 Persija Jakarta
Singapore: Three assists from Riko Simanjuntak helped Persija Jakarta to a 4-2 win over Tampines Rovers on Tuesday, securing top spot in Group H and their spot in the AFC Cup 2018 ASEAN Zonal Semi-finals.
The Indonesian side arrived in Singapore sitting top of Group H ahead of Vietnam’s Song Lam Nghe An on head-to-head, and knew a win would secure their passage to the knockout rounds.
They were spurred on by a vocal contingent of fans who had travelled from Indonesia for the clash and they were celebrating after 20 minutes when Riko cleverly created space for himself on the right, crossing the ball into the box where Rezaldi Hehanusa controlled the ball and fired home the opener.
The home side hit right back, however, with Jordan Webb heading home from a corner less than five minutes later.
Tampines Rovers did well to deny the space that Persija Jakarta like to exploit down the flanks, but they were caught napping on the stroke of half-time when the 26-year-old got in behind, running to the by-line before cutting the ball back for Marko Simic to tap home.
The visitors scored their third early in the second half when Riko received the ball on the edge of his own area but with plenty of space in front of him, driving the ball into penalty area, before sliding the ball across for Novri Setiawan who side footed the ball into an open net.
The win, and progression to the knockout rounds, was secured with 20 minutes left to play when Brazilian Addison got himself on the scoresheet with a lovely individual effort.
Fazrul Nawaz added a late consolation goal for the home side but it was too little, too late.
Persija Jakarta now look forward to a clash against either Ceres Negros, Home United or Yangon United in the ASEAN Zonal Semi-finals next month, while Tampines Rovers are eliminated, finishing bottom of Group H with just one point.