Trial Match: Arema FC Buckling Barito Putra with a Score of 2-0

MALANG – Arema FC has a valuable capital in do the inaugural match of the President Cup against Persela Lamongan Saturday (20/1). Singo Edan Team was successfully won in a trial match against Barito Putera yesterday afternoon (14/1).

In trial match held at Gajayana Stadium, Malang, Arema FC won 2-0 through goals created Johan Alfarizie in the 61st minute and M. Rafli 73 minutes. This last goal is spectacular because it is the first time touch for Rafli in action yesterday. He scored after replacing Rodrigo Ost Dos Santos about a minute before the goal was created.

This victory is the third for Arema FC in trial match that was held at the break of this competition. In two previous matches, Arema FC won twice from the legendary team, PSIS Semarang. Thus, Arema FC is so superior in the match. The question is, can Arema FC talk a lot in the President’s Cup or in League 1 this year? Only time can answer. Special 2018 President Cup which is the nearest preseason tournaments, this becomes a challenge for Arema FC because last year this team became the champion. Yesterday’s victory became capital for Arema FC as defending champion.

Although only a trial match, yesterday’s victory was greeted with joy by the players, especially for M. Rafli who scored quickly. “Really did not think, really surprised,” said Rafli when interviewed after the match.

“I do not think anything, there we are changing formations. I talk to all the midfielders. Out of it, Arema will attack, I just run forward. It turns out the goal was created,” added Rafli.

Satisfaction is also shown Johan Alfarizie. “Definitely happy to score goals, all players would be happy especially if we win. But, in the future our challenge is getting harder. Hopefully we are more compact and better,” he said

Yesterday, Arema FC did take the initiative attack since the early minutes. Just five minutes of the match, attack from the right wing through Syaiful Indra Cahya who performs crossing bait to Thiago Furtuoso could endanger the opponent’s goal. The goalkeeper Barito Putera, Dian Agus, swiftly secured the ball.

Singo Edan still had several times to attack. However, the attack scheme seems not formed yet; the inter-game bait in the opponent’s defense area is still not organized so easily broken Dandi Maulana and friends in the back line of the team nicknamed Laskar Antasari.

Although not able to produce a goal yet, 15 minutes of action, the scheme built Dendi Santoso and friends have started running well. The Scheme between Ahmet Atayev, Syaiful Indra Cahya, and Thiago already happen. In fact, in the 17th minute, Rodrigo could have kicked towards the goal but unfortunately his tend seen too weak.

Barito Putera’s match yesterday was not without resistance. The movement and quick sprint of Syamsul Arif is often not overtaken by Johan Alfarizie and Purwaka Yudhi. However, attacks from both teams are still rigid.

Arema FC’s new playmaker, Rodrigo Ost Dos Santos, often does a pretty good move. He has several times shown individual skills, but several times he also made mistakes. In addition, he also seemed slow in releasing bait to his partner.

In the 33rd minute, Dedik Setiawan came on for Ridwan Tawainella. The match scheme of Singo Edan has also changed a bit. Dedik Setiawan, Thiago Furtuoso, and Dendi Santoso into three spearheads at once.

Even so, Arema FC in the first round focus more attacks from the right wing through Syaiful Indra Cahya and Dendi Santoso. But until the first half ended, both teams still cannot break the goal. 0-0 score persisted until the break.

In the 2nd half, Arema FC again changed the match scheme. Agil Munawar was included after pulling out Syaiful Indra Cahya. Thiago pushed forward even further, Dedik Setiawan and Dendi Santoso looked already fit in the game that afternoon. Thiago also had a few kicks, but still failed.

Entering the 60th minute, Barito tried to change the match scheme as well. Barito Putera’s Coach, Jacksen F. Tiago immediately replaced the three players at once included Jeki Arisandi, T. A. Musafri, Mariando, and Dona Saputra, then issued players like Roni Estar, Bijahil Chalwa, Syamsul Arif, and Patrick Da Silva.

After replacing some players, Barito conceded first. Goal finally created by Johan Alfarizie in the 61st minute. The goal originated from a corner kick and measured feedback from Ahmet Atayev which continued easily by Johan.

Rivaldy finally tasted his official match with Arema yesterday afternoon. In the inaugural match he had played with injuries during training sessions, his performance did not disappoint. Acceleration he ran to pass the opponent players deserves thumbs up. Only, kicks and bait still often misdirected.

Luck happened to M. Rafli. In the 73rd minute, his first touch directly made a goal. Assist from Dedik Setiawan who directed to the front of the goal immediately greeted by M. Rafli. Although the kick was denied, it does not change the direction of the ball. Score was changed to 2-0.

Meanwhile, head coach of Arema FC, Joko Susilo grateful for the victory yesterday. However, he did not want to be complacent against the winning streak of the three trial matches. He confessed that his target was the nearest tournament. “Our real target is in the Presidential Cup,” said him.

He explained that the first half of his team was not able to create goals and as if still too late in get chemistry. “The early stages were heavy. But, it will be an experience for me,” he said. He promises, in the next match, his team will be give better.

Meanwhile, Coach of Barito Putera, Jacksen F. Tiago admitted happy with their game despite his team lost. “This preseason game is quite interesting,” said him.

He explained that he was lucky to do the match even though for him the trial yesterday afternoon was quite sudden. “Quite lots of notes for us and will continue to evaluate from our practice,” he added.

Despite losing, he admits that his team has undergone many improvements. “I see a very significant development,” he added. He explained that the material mater and his fighting power are good enough.

However, he still admits that the weakness of his team is the limitation of the stamina of his players. “Stamina affects the rhythm that I want to run,” he concluded.

Reporter: Gigih Mazda
Editor: Irham Thoriq
Copy Editor: Dwi Lindawati
Translator: Jamilah Aljah
Photografer: Darmono