Monday, November 21, 2005

Indonesian Cup high drama at Bungkarno Stadium

Firman Utina netted a hat-trick as Arema Malang scored a 3-2 extra-time victory over Persija Jakarta in the 2005 Copa Indonesia final, giving the East Java-based team a spot in next season’s AFC Champions League. "Utina completed his treble six minutes into extra time at Jakarta’s Gelora Bungkarno Stadium to give his side their first title since their 1992 Indonesia league victory and extend the heartbreak for Persija fans, who also saw their side lose 3-2 to Persipura Jayapura at the same venue in the Indonesian league playoff final two months ago," reported Arya Abhiseka for FootballAsia.com

A crowd of about 50,000, including thousands of Arema fans who had travelled 16 hours from East Java, were present at the Bungkarno Stadium, hosting its final game before a year-long renovation to prepare it for its role in the 2007 Asian Cup. They were treated to a match of "high drama", which featured attacking football, a 12-minute walk-off by Arema, a 5 minute walk-off by the referees, 10 yellow cards and two red cards.

Security problems were again apparant at Indonesia's national stadium which is managed by the central government. Roudy Persija fans were allowed to occupy the balcony above the Indonesian Football Association's VIP section and pelted football officials, guests and the honoured veterens of four decades of Indonesian national teams with rubbish and water bottles, some of which were reportedly filled with urine.

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