Dirkir Glay Grabs First League Victory

Liberian international defender Dirkir Glay ended his four years of playing his professional soccer career in Kenya and signed up for the Indonesian club commonly known as Persiba Balikpapan.

Before the Governor’s Cup, the 23-year old defender was listed among the club’s new faces during their preseason camp in Yogyakarta, a city in the Indonesia Island of Java. Balikpapan played poorly in the Governor’s Cup and was eliminated early in the tournament.

Following their early exit from the Governor’s Cup, they turned their attention to the new Indonesia football league season that kicked off in May after almost a year of conflict between the Football Association and the Ministry of Sports.

After weeks of preparation for the new league season, Balikpapan began with a 2-0 defeat away at Arema Cronus.

Two first half goals from Hamka Hamzah and Cristian Gérard Alfaro Gonzáles were enough to sink Persiba Balikpapan, who failed to score a single goal.

Glay played the full 90 minutes, although he was shown a yellow card in the 62nd minute.

With two goals against them, Balikpapan was seated at the bottom of the league table with no point. Their hopes of grabbing their first win in their second game against Sriwijaya Football Club subsided as they were held to a scoreless draw at home.

Balikpapan’s disappointing start to the league continued in the third round of matches as they suffered a narrow 1-0 loss to Pusamania Borneo.

With just a point from three games, Glay’s frustration with his new club continued to increase following a 1-1 draw at home against Persib Bandung.

That draw earned them two points from four matches and the team was now seated 17th on the league table with their fifth round match against Bali United.

Fortunately for Balikpapan, they were able to grab their first win of the 2016 league season with a comfortable 3-1 win over struggling Bali United on Monday, May 30th at home.

A first half goal from Indonesian forward, Heri Susanto and second half goals from Japanese Shohei Matsunaga and Indonesian midfielder, Bima Sakti Tukiman were enough to hand Glay’s club their first win of the season.

With just a win from five matches, Balikpapan moved up to the 13th place on the league table with five points.

Featured photo courtesy of Dirkir Glay

T Kla Wesley Jr.

T. Kla Wesley Jr. is a member of the Sports Writers Association of Liberia.

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