The new stars to shine in the Menpora Cup

Jakarta (medialnews) – The Menpora Cup 2021 is the first tournament to kick off the spectacle of Indonesian football matches after the match was vacuumed a year ago due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Due to the long absence of matches, many clubs have fired players and practiced for various reasons, especially the 1st division club that was the target of the Menpora Cup participants.

As a result, each team struggles to prepare troops with too little time to participate in the Menpora Cup that started on March 21.

On average, each team only has about two weeks to prepare the players once the Menpora Cup match permit is issued, following a tug of war with permits to comply with health protocols.

There are teams that choose to import and transfer players in the middle of limited pre-match preparation time, such as Bhayangkara FC, Bali United and Persib Bandung.

However, there are also teams that choose to sharpen their existing roster and maximize the young players they have, such as PSIS Semarang, Persebaya Surabaya and PSM Makassar.

In fact, PSM Makassar must be willing to lose quite a few of its star players who choose to move to other teams in preparation for the Menpora Cup.

Various names of the players who decided to leave Makassar PSM included Ezra Walian, Rizky Pellu, Firza Andika, Ferdinand Sinaga, Leo Guntara and Irsyad Maulana.

However, it turned out that there were many surprises during the Menpora Cup match as the teams benefiting only from local players performed brilliantly.

The Menpora Cup competition also shows many new stars who seem surprising and exceed the expectations of many, by presenting a charming and slick game.

Here are some of the rising stars in the Menpora Cup:

1. Assanur “Torres” Rijal

Assanur Rijal is a Persiraja Aceh forward who surprisingly emerged in the Menpora Cup match by scoring a hat-trick in the first match in Group D against Persita Tangerang last March 24.

From Rijal’s three goals for Laskar Rencong in that match, he produced two with a header, while the other came from a close shot.

In the match against Persib Bandung, Rijal Torres also contributed one goal to the goal guarded by goalkeeper Teja Paku Alam at the center of Nick Kuipers and Victor Igbonefo’s escort, at Maguwoharjo Stadium, Sleman, Yogyakarta, April 2.

The goal from Rijal Torres’ header against the Blue Prince squad completed the collection of four goals he scored in the Menpora Cup.

The young man who was born on March 2, 1996 in Lambeugak, Aceh, is indeed nicknamed Rijal Torres, referring to the name of the great player Fernando Torres.

If you look at his Instagram account, Rijal, who is 1.65 meters tall and just turned 25 years old, also called his profile “Rijal Torres”.

Breaking news, Rijal Torres officially joined Kaesang Pangarep League 2 club, Persis Solo, which he announced last Saturday (4/17) via uploads to the club’s official Instagram account.

The @ official.persissolo account uploaded photos and videos of Assanur Rijal in a red Persis Solo costume with graphic decorations and a welcome greeting.

In the Menpora Cup, Rijal Torres is currently the top scorer with a collection of four goals, but unfortunately Persiraja has to be eliminated in the preliminary round.

Also read: Persiraja Banda Aceh defeated Persita Tangerang 3-1
Also read: Persiraja brings 26 players to the Menpora Cup

2. Frets Listanto Butuan

Frets Listanto Butuan is a Persib Bandung winger who performed brilliantly in the Menpora Cup match with a temporary roster of three goals.

Born in Ternate on June 4, 1996, the player scored the first goal in the Group D preliminary round against Bali United and managed to save Persib’s face from defeat with the match ending in a 1-1 draw.

Frets Butuan’s second goal was created when Persib defeated Persita in the preliminary round of Group D and then Frets’ third goal in the semi-final against PSS Sleman.

You could say, the 24-year-old, 1.67 meters tall, is a “winger” who is hungry for goals with a central offensive engine position.

On Persib’s official website, the former PSMS Medan player was even named “Man of the Match” in the semi-finals of the first leg between Persib and PSS Sleman at Maguwoharjo Stadium, Friday April 16.

Frets was chosen for his contribution to the team by appearing from the first minute and contributing one goal that marked Maung Bandung’s 2-1 victory over the Javanese Eagle.

Also read: Frets Butuan did not expect to become a Persib player

3. Pratama Arhan Alif Rifai

Pratama Arhan is a young PSIS Semarang defender who also drew attention for his performance in the Menpora Cup match, especially against Arema FC in the Menpora Cup Group A match at Manahan Stadium, Solo, March 30.

Laskar Mahesa Jenar was actually left first, but the PSIS Semarang players who only had local players were able to turn things around until the game ended with a score of 3-2.

One of the goals in the spotlight was a nice curved free kick and an assist from Arhan that won PSIS Arema.

The young man who was born in Blora on December 21, 2001 is a player of the Indonesian national team who is also one of Shin Tae-yong’s favorite children for his ability to throw long distances.

Arhan is known for his long and accurate throws in the defense of the opponent. In fact, he’s often compared to Rory John Delap, a former Stoke City player who was first known for his legendary throw-in.

However, the figure with a height of 1.7 meters not only proved himself well in his deadly throw, appearing impressively in the Menpora Cup and scoring two goals.

Arhan is also often charged with handling PSIS set pieces, such as when he managed to be the executor of a penalty when PSIS v Tira Persikabo last March 25.

PSIS corners are also often entrusted to Arhan, as his crosses are considered accurate and often endanger the opponent’s fortress.

Also read: Pratama reveals his goal-after special throw-in to Qatar

4. Saddam Emiruddin Gaffar

Saddam Gaffar is a young PSS Sleman forward who has to reckon with a collection of two goals in the Menpora Cup semi-final against Persib Bandung in the Menpora Cup match.

Saddam’s first goal against Maung Bandung was scored in the semifinals of the first leg, despite a 1-2 loss at Maguwoharjo Stadium, Sleman, Yogyakarta, on April 16.

Meanwhile, Saddam’s second goal was scored in the semi-final of the second leg when PSS drew against Persib with a score of 1-1 at Manahan Stadium, Solo, April 19.

Although PSS did not qualify for the Menpora Cup final, this young man, born on September 24, 2001 in Jepara, Central Java, has proven his skills in ball handling.

The graduate of the PSS Sleman Elite Pro Academy (EPA) was also the top scorer of the Javanese Eagle Super squad in the Menpora Cup.

The player with the 6 foot stance is also known as an aggressive attacker who not only waits for the ace ball, but diligently goes down to find the ball and let it flow to other players so that the attack does not stall.

Indeed, Saddam is not a random player as he is part of Shin Tae-yong’s U-19 national team back who was also brought to Spain in January 2021.

Also read: Persib to final Menpora Cup despite PSS Sleman 1-1 draw

Best of all, this article was originally published in the Indonesian language.
5. Hilman Shah

Hilman Syah is a PSM Makassar goalkeeper whose name shines as one of the goalkeepers in the Menpora Cup for his brilliant achievement in guarding Juku Eja fort even without a single foreign player.

In fact, the position of the goalkeeper who was born in Jeneponto Regency, South Sulawesi on May 25, 1997, has been irreplaceable since the preliminary round.

The goal he guarded was never conceded in the Menpora Cup match against Persija Jakarta, except on penalties, so it’s a performance record to be reckoned with.

At the start of the inaugural Menpora Cup match, March 22, Hilman managed to keep his goal clean with a final score of 2-0 against Persija Jakarta.

In the semi-finals, the two teams met again. The first leg took place at Maguwoharjo Stadium, Sleman, April 15, Hilman managed to keep his virginity with a score of 0-0.

In the return leg, a normal 2×45 minute match never resulted in goals for the two teams, so a penalty shootout had to be done to determine the winner in the match at Manahan Stadium, Solo, April 18, 2021.

In the two games that went by, Hilman was considered successful in keeping his goal against the threat of an opponent from the Kemayoran Tigers.

In fact, the duet of Marko Simic and Riko Simanjuntak could not even penetrate the goal of the Rooster team from the east, which was guarded by the 23-year-old goalkeeper.

It’s just that PSM had to admit defeat to Persija in a penalty shootout that ended the match with a score of 3-4, which made Hilman cry as his team failed to make it to the final round.

Apparently, the Menpora Cup event in 2021 offered a surprise, as well as an opportunity for talented young players to showcase brilliant performances and games.

The absence of supporters in the stadium and the thunderous support from the stands were also not enough to dampen the players’ enthusiasm to continue to showcase their best performances.

How did they fare after the Menpora Cup? It’s worth looking forward to in League 1 2021, set to roll out soon in the middle of this year, if requirements are met and permits approved while health protocols are adhered to in a pandemic situation.

Also read: Menpora asked the Menpora Cup winning team not to be overly euphoric
Also read: LIB tries to finish the audience in the stadium before April 25
Also read: PSSI-LIB reports to the Menpora that the pre-season tournament is without obstacles

By Zuhdiar Laeis
Editor: Dadan Ramdani

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