In the ninth (9th) round of matches in the Indonesian Super League played on Sunday 20th, December, St. Kitts and Nevis’ striker Keith Kayamba Gumbs and his Sumatera based outfit, Sriwijaya FC, were on the road to do battle against newly promoted Java based, Persema Malang.
This was expected to be a very tricky tie as both teams were looking for a win to put either ahead on the table.
The first half was a bit of a farce as both teams combined in creating only as much as three (3) clear cut chances. The best opportunity fell to striker Arif Siyono who only had the Persema keeper to beat, but shot wide.
First half ended 0-0.
After the break, both teams came out with much more urgency, applying a more attacking style of play, and it seemed very clear that a win was more worth while to both teams. They both pushed forward launching attack after attack on each other’s goal. The spectators were enjoying every bit of the end to end action as the keepers were kept busy.
Sriwijaya FC again created the best opportunity to take the lead through Nigerian Obiora in the 70th minute, when the striker hurried his effort and wasted a golden chance for the visitors. A few minutes later, Kayamba was brought down just outside the host’s goal area and a free kick was awarded. Captain Gumbs himself took it and almost gave his team the lead with a thunderous shot off the cross bar in the 77th minute.
As the game came to a close and the Assistant Referee showed the time (an added 1 minute) before the end, the Sriwijaya FC defenders seemed to have fallen asleep or thought it was all over. That proved to be a very costly error.
It was a dramatic end to the game and disappointment for the visitors when one of the shortest players on the pitch, (Persema striker) Kamri who out jumped Sriwijaya’s giant defenders to score the winning goal in the 89th minute.
The game ended 1-0 to the home team.
The fans and players were rejoicing as this takes them to 5th on the table ahead of Sriwijaya FC who still has a game in hand, and has now slipped to 7th.