Persija Jakarta: Get to know Newcastle Jets' AFC Champions League opponents

After emerging as victors from last week’s AFC Champions League Preliminary Round 1 qualifier, Persija Jakarta are heading to the Hunter to play the Newcastle Jets in a do-or-die ACL clash on Tuesday night.

The round 2 preliminary qualifier clash is a knockout encounter, with the winner to progress to the Final Play-off Round and face reigning AFC Champions League winners, Kashima Antlers.

You can watch the Jets' clash with Persija Jakarta at Hunter Stadium in Newcastle LIVE on Fox Sports 505 from 7pm on Tuesday night.

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But who is Persija Jakarta?

We’ve got all you need to know about Newcastle Jets’ first Asian opponents in almost 10 years.

The path to Hunter Stadium

Champions of the Indonesian Liga 1 in 2018, Persija Jakarta is the most successful club in the history of Indonesian football.

The success is largely historical though, with last year’s league victory their first since 2001.

The Indonesian club qualified for the play-off stages of the AFC Champions League after finishing top of Liga 1 last season. It was tight though, with just one point separating them from second place.

They qualified one stage earlier than the Jets though and made it through to the Second Round of the Play-Off stages with a 3-1 win over Singaporean outfit Home United.

This the second year running that Persija will feature in Asia. In 2018, Persija Jakarta made it to the knockout stage where they were defeated 6-3 on aggregate by Home United.

The players

The core of the Persija Jakarta side is Indonesian, with just five foreign players among their ranks.

One of those foreigners is Croatian attacker Mario Simic, who scored the third goal in the big win over Home United.

There are also a couple of stalwarts among the Jakarta ranks, with the likes of Ismed Sofyan among them. The 39-year-old fullback has played almost 400 games for Jakarta since his debut in 2002.

Marko Simic

The season so far

Last week’s game wasn't the first of Persija Jakarta’s 2019 campaign, despite the Indonesian Liga 1 not set to kick-off until early May.

They played two legs of an Indonesian Cup knock-out match on the 23rd and 31st of January, winning 9-3 on aggregate over Liga 3 side 757 Kepri Jaya.

Despite still battling through the early stages of their pre-season, it means Jakarta have some competitive minutes under their belt and the form guide shows they're in good nick.