PSM Makassar is on the verge of making history as champions of the AFC Cup Southeast Asia zone. That happens if in the top round they can beat Kuala Lumpur City FC at Kuala Lumpur FA Stadium (24/8).
However, the chance to be the best in ASEAN is threatened as the most important player and team captain Wiljan Pluim is still injured. He even missed PSM’s 1-0 win over Arema FC (20/8).
PSM coach Bernardo Tavares could not confirm whether Pluim could appear. “I’m not a doctor. We have to hear what the doctor thinks. Hopefully he (Pluim) is fine, “explained the Portuguese coach.
The presence of the Dutch player was really needed. He is the leader figure in the Juku Spell squad.
His performance on the field is also quite good. From 4 matches in Liga 1, the 32-year-old player recorded 2 goals and 1 assist. The problem is, PSM will not only lose Pluim.
Juku Eja will also not be strengthened by defenders Yuran Fernandes and Agung Mannan. The two players both got a red card in the semifinal match.
Not to mention that PSM players only have three days of recovery time. In fact, they immediately left for Malaysia today. The final match of the AFC Cup Southeast Asia zone will indeed be held in Kuala Lumpur.
Tavares will look at the player’s condition before departing. “What is clear, we will manage the squad on the field well,” said Tavares.
If Pluim is absent, Tavares will prepare a replacement. There was Bryan Cesar who in the match against Singo Edan became a starter. The problem is, of course, at the back. Yuran Fernandes and Agung Mannan are irreplaceable at the back.
Maybe Dallen Doke and Erwin Gutawa were prepared to be substitutes.
For PSM, this is not the first time they have faced Kuala Lumpur City FC. The two teams have clashed in the group stage. The match, which was held on June 24, 2022, ended in a goalless draw.
Of course Tavares did not want a repeat of the draw. He wants to bring PSM to become the champion of the AFC Cup in the Southeast Asia zone.