Singapore: Indonesia's Persija Jakarta were in fiery form as they defeated Singapore’s Home United 3-1 in a 2019 AFC Champions League preliminary stage one tie at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Tuesday.
The win sets up the Indonesian champions with an exciting encounter in the second preliminary round against Australia’s Newcastle Jets on February 12.
The visitors started the match brightly and took control as they went ahead through an own goal by Ho Wai Loon in the ninth minute.
Persija came close to adding in the 23rd minute through Ramdani Lestaluhu’s effort but Home United custodian Rudy Khairullah was at his best to keep his side in the game.
Three minutes later, Ivan Kolev’s men almost doubled their advantage after Beto Goncalves sent Rico Simanjuntak through into the danger area but Home United were alert to the threat.
Home United saw their first real chance at the half-hour mark after earning a free-kick outside the box. However, Izzdin Shafiq saw his delivery blocked by the Persija wall.
Home United’s Song Ui-young kept creating problems for Persija but saw his efforts foiled by goalkeeper Andritany Ardhiyasa.
It was not long before Saswadimata Dasuki’s men found a way past the Persija defence as they leveled proceedings through Song’s strike two minutes from the interval.
Good Job, Tiger! #PersijaDay #ACL2019 #PersijaJakarta #PersijaSelamanya pic.twitter.com/n7XuMIU42q
— Persija Jakarta (@Persija_Jkt) February 5, 2019
Home United, the 2018 AFC Cup ASEAN Zonal champions, continued their pressing play at the start of the second half but Persija, backed by their large group of travelling fans, shocked Home United against the run of play to lead again.
Simanjuntak, who had been quiet in the second half, surged up the right and his well-timed delivery found Alberto Goncalves who slotted home Persija’s second in the 55th minute.
Home United, who won both legs when the two sides met in the AFC Cup ASEAN Zonal semi-final last year, suffered more agony as they conceded a third goal in the 84th minute.
Simanjuntak was again the orchestrator as his cross found Marko Simic who slotted home.
Photo: Persija Jakarta