Peter Odemwingie scores third goal for Madura United in Indonesia

Peter Odemwingie scored his third goal in four games in Indonesia to give Madura United a 1-0 win at Persija Jakarta on Thursday night.

The former Nigerian international struck with 21 minutes remaining to lift Madura into equal fifth in Indonesia's Liga One.

Four days earlier, the ex-West Bromwich Albion striker had produced a rocket from the edge of the area. While this strike was from even further out, it was more speculative than spectacular. Odemwingie fired a looping effort towards goal from 30 yards out and it should have been a routine save for the Persija goalkeeper. But Andritani Ardhiyasa seemed to be deceived by the bounce.

"This was a really good win for us," Madura coach Gomes de Oliveira told reporters. "We came under pressure especially in the first half but when the chance came, we were able to take it."

The Brazilian did not single out the match winner for praise, preferring to focus on the team. "We do not depend on one or two individuals, this was a good all-round performance."

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The victory was Madura's second in four games this season.

Semen Padang suffered their first defeat when they lost 2-0 at Bali United, despite the presence of former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Didier Zokora. Former A-League favourite and ex-Persib Bandung star Marcos Flores, of Argentina, put the hosts ahead after 13 minutes. Sylvano Comvalius sealed the win with 20 minutes remaining to deny the visitors the chance of going top of the league.

The big game on Friday sees Arema host Barito Putera, with both teams able to move into pole position if they take three points.

Earlier in the week, a moment of class from Michael Essien off the bench helped Persib Bandung pick up a last-gasp 1-0 win at Gresik United on Wednesday to send the team into second.

The former Chelsea and Real Madrid star had been struggling to adapt to Indonesia's climate and sleep patterns since arriving in March, according to coach Djadjang Nurdjaman before the match. But there was nothing wrong with his 92nd minute intervention.

With the game drifting towards a goalless draw, Essien, who was introduced midway through the second half, picked up the ball just inside the Gresik half.

His perfect long-ball found Febri Haryadi who had got behind the home defence to square the ball for young star Billy Keraf to fire into the net from close range.

Despite the classy winner, it was far from a classic performance from the visitors who struggled to create clear cut chances against a team struggling at the bottom of the table.

The late show did, however, give the visitors a second successive victory to leave Djadjang 's men unbeaten after four games of the season. Former England striker Carlton Cole was left on the bench.

Coach Djadjang was a relieved man after the game.

"We did not play very well in this game," he told reporters. "We had lots of possession but the most important thing is the result and I happy we got the win.

"I am also happy that we kept going right until the end and we have to build on this against Persipura on Sunday. There are lots of games at the moment and we have to stay focused."

Persib are two points behind leaders PSM. Robert Alberts' side secured an impressive road win over Perseru Serui, 2-1.