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Gelora Bung Tomo lit up again by flares in the friendly match between Persebaya Surabaya and Sabah FA

Gelora Bung Tomo lit up again by flares in the friendly match between Persebaya Surabaya and Sabah FA

Persebaya Surabaya snatched a 3-1 win over Sabah FA in a friendly match to kick start the new season.

On Saturday, Persebaya Surabaya marked the beginning of the 2020 season with a colorful and formal ceremony on their home ground – Gelora Bung Tomo Stadium, following by a friendly match with the Malaysian side Sabah FA.

Persebaya Surabaya’s squad competing in the new season was also introduced in the ceremony and caught many by surprise with a whopping 14 new faces in a total of 29 players. Two of them are young talents promoted from their junior team: Ernando Ari and Rizky Ridho.

The unfamiliar squad struggled at first and let the Malaysia Super League’s newly promoted side surprisingly opened the deadlock in the sixth minute via a close-range tap in of their new arrival Hector Ramos. Nevertheless, the hosts quickly regained control with two goals before half time by the name of David da Silva and one more at the end of the game to seal the win by Irfan Jaya.

Gelora Bung Tomo lit up again by flares in the friendly match between Persebaya Surabaya and Sabah FA

As every game of Persebaya Surabaya at Gelora Bung Tomo Stadium, the stadium is packed full with enthusiastic fans constantly cheering for the home side. Their energy was paid off by a fairly persuasive win of The Bajul ljo, although the fans did get too excited when the match ended and started lighting up flares.

Gelora Bung Tomo Stadium has a reputation for becoming overheated in matches of Persebaya Surabaya. Back in October 2019, the fans got frustrated when the home team lost their first game at home and did not just light up flares but they even swarmed into the pitch and lit the goal on fire.

The fans are enormous drive of the team but inappropriate and hooligan-like behaviors are not the way to show support. On the contrary, they can affect badly to the club’s image and lead to punishments that could compromise their ambition of winning the title for the first time since 2004, after finishing 2nd last season.