The troubled season of Persib Bandung worsened on Sunday evening as the big-spending club lost 2-0 at Bhayangkara for a second successive defeat in Indonesia's Liga One, leaving the future of coach Djadjang Nurdjaman uncertain.
Just two points from the last four games has sent the West Javan club down to 11th in the league and put more pressure on the shoulders of the under-fire manager.
In front of a passionate crowd at the Stadion Patriot in Surabaya, Bhayangkara took the game to the visitors. They were ahead just before the half-hour thanks to a spectacular strike from Paulo Sergio.
The Portuguese attacker ran on to a pass from Thiago Furtuoso to volley into the roof of the net from the edge of the area.
Persib had a number of chances but were unable to find the equaliser.
Eight minutes from time, the hosts sealed the win that sends them above their opponents, and up into seventh.
Ilham Armaiyn chested down a high ball from fellow substitute Jajang Mulyaya, and calmly slotted the ball past the goalkeeper.
With their team trailing 2-0 in the dying stages, some Persib fans invaded the pitch in protest, asking their players to remove their jerseys, chanting: "You're not fit to wear the shirt".
Djadjang seemed to accept in the post-match media conference that his job was on the line.
The coach, who took the team to the 2014 Indonesia Super League title, requested that journalists not ask too many questions.
"I admit we played badly tonight," he said. "A club like Persib should not be losing successive games and in this position."
"I am ready to be judged on this record."
Fans at the club, known as the Boboteh, were dissatisfied with the team's unconvincing performances even when Persib went unbeaten for the first seven games of the season. Just eight goals have been scored in nine games this season so far.
Hopes had been raised with the high-profile signings of Michael Essien and Carlton Cole ahead of the season.
Essien has started just two games this season. The former Chelsea and Real Madrid midfielder came off the bench at half-time on Sunday but failed to make much of an impact.
Persib Memanas, Djanur Disinyalir Dipecat dan Essien Marah Besar Kondisi skuat Persib Bandung memanas. Sang Djadjang Nurdjaman, disinyalir telah dipecat dari posisinya. Hal tersebut diketahui Bola.com saat para pemain meninggalkan ruang ganti Stadion Patriot, Bekasi, Minggu (4/6/2017) malam. Sang pelatih pergi ke arah yang berbeda dengan para pemain dan Michael Essien menggerutu soal kondisi yang terjadi. Persib kalah 0-2 dari Bhayangkara FC. Kekalahan ini menjadi kekalahan kedua Persib secara berturut-turut setelah sebelumnya kalah dari Bali United. Djadjang Nurdjaman sempat mengatakan siap dievaluasi dan dipecat saat bicara kepada jurnalis pada konferensi pers usai laga. Setelah itu Djadjang kembali ke ruang ganti dan evaluasi tim berlangsung sangat lama. Setelah pemain mulai keluar, Bola.com meminta waktu untuk wawancara dengan gelandang Persib, Raphael Maitimo, yang matanya tampak memerah karena sedih. Maitimo menolak dengan halus dan meminta agar wawancara jangan dilakukan saat itu. Seketika Michael Essien keluar dari ruang ganti dan menggerutu dan berbicara kepada Carlton Cole dengan nada kesal. Mantan pemain Chelsea itu melontarkan kritikan kepada Umuh Muchtar. "Pelatih itu orang yang baik." Carlton Cole dan Maitimo pun berusaha menenangkan Essien. Setelah itu Djadjang Nurdjaman keluar sembari memeluk satu per satu pemainnya dengan mata tampak berkaca-kaca. Staf manajemen Persib Bandung langsung mengarahkan Djadjang keluar dari pintu yang berbeda dari para pemain yang menuju bus. Manajer Persib, Umuh Muchtar, yang sudah ditunggu wartawan pun enggan bicara dan meminta agar wawancara dilakukan di tempat lain. bola.com . #Persib #PersibJuara #PersibBandung #PersibDay #Bobotoh #MaungBandung #PangeranBiru #KabehDulur #DamaiItuIndah #PersibTime #AplikasiPersibTime #SkuadMaung #bangkitsib
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Cole was widely reported to have been released by the club on Friday. But after a meeting of Persib's management, the ex-England striker was given a stay of execution.
But the 33-year-old did not make the squad for the second successive game, and has played just 105 minutes of football this season so far.
PSM lead the standings by four points after a 5-1 thrashing of Persipura on Saturday. The fine recent form of Bali United saw the team climb into second with a 3-1 win at Perseru Senai.
Didier Zokora's Semen Padang slipped to a fourth defeat of the season, 3-1 at Barito Putera to sit just two places above the relegation zone. Zokora came off the bench in the second-half.