19 memorable moments
Jakarta: With 40 per cent more goals, a 445 per cent increase in attendance and a new generation of Asian football stars announcing themselves on the continental stage, the AFC U-19 Championship Indonesia 2018 has been a competition to remember.
With countless memorable moments to choose from, the-AFC.com looks back at 19 that made Indonesia 2018 a spectacular success.
See also :
1. Ali Saleh's opening-day free-kick
United Arab Emirates failed to advance beyond the group stage, but they did uncover a future star in Ali Saleh, who wasted no time in stamping his authority on Indonesia 2018 with a sumptuous free-kick against Qatar in the competition's opening match.
2. Ito's inch-perfect pile driver
Three touches, 36 yards, one sensational goal. Jubilo Iwata midfielder Hiroki ito produced an early contender for goal of the tournament with a magnificent long-range effort in Japan's 5-2 defeat of DPR Korea.
3. Ramy rescues Australia
It became clear early that this was a tournament of outstanding goals, particularly when Ramy Najjarine came off the bench to beat a defender and curl a sensational left-footed effort in at the far post to give Australia a last-gasp equaliser against Korea Republic.
4. Solehov squeezes Tajikistan ahead
Tajikistan performed strongly in Indonesia, reaching the quarter-finals for the second successive edition of the tournament, but their best moment came on Matchday One when Sharafjon Solehov squeezed in a superb low effort from distance to seal the Central Asians' only win, 1-0 against China PR.
5. Umaru's unbelievable hat-trick
In truth, the events of Qatar's 6-5 win over Indonesia on Matchday Two could have filled this list by themselves, and no player featured more prominently than Qatar's Abdulrasheed Umaru. The tournament's top scorer rifled in three superb goals, all on his devastating right foot, before revealing his disappointment that he hadn't scored more.
6. Rivaldo Ferre sparks incredible Indonesian comeback
At 6-1 down with half an hour to play, Indonesia's hopes appeared to have been dashed against Qatar, but someone forgot to tell Todd Rivaldo Ferre. The substitute's magnificent hat-trick - along with an equally superb Saddl Ramdani free-kick - got the hosts back to within one goal, an although they ultimately lost 6-5, the revival played a key role in Indonesia's eventual progression to the last eight.
7. Al Zebdieh's sublime finish
One of the standouts of Jordan's campaign was the exciting Omar Al Zebdieh, who did his budding reputation no harm by intercepting a back pass and scoring from a near-impossible angle against Korea Republic on Matchday Two.
8. The Beautiful Game - Malaysia, Saudi Arabia show class for Fuzaylov
Tajikistan's Ziyovuddin Fuzaylov suffered a horror ankle injury on Matchday Two, but Malaysia and Saudi Arabia showed their class and respect in that days the followed. Members of the Malaysian delegation visited the youngster in hospital, while the Saudi team presented him with a team jersey and wished him a speedy recovery.
9. Witan sends hosts through
Indonesia's youngest player, Witan Sulaeman proved himself as one of their best in the competition, with his Player of the Match performance - and goal - in the crucial win over United Arab Emirates ultimately sealing a first quarter-final appearance in 40 years.
10. Delianov heroics deny Jordan
Australian goalkeeper James Delianov performed strongly in all four of his appearances in the competition, but it was his string of saves against Jordan on Matchday Three which played a decisive role in each side's destiny, with Australia advancing to the quarter-finals after a tense 1-1 draw in Bogor.
11. Korea Republic's woodwork woes
Without a doubt, Korea Republic were one of the most effective attacking units in the competition, but they still provided one of the most unfortunate attempts at finishing when they managed to hit all three posts in the space of a few seconds against Vietnam in their eventual 3-1 win on Matchday Three.
12. Al Zaqarta arrives
Safi Al Zaqarta didn't play a minute of Saudi Arabia's opening two matches, but he wasted no time in announcing himself when given a start on Matchday Three, scoring twice against Tajikistan to guide his country to top spot in Group D.
13. Sakunchai's magnificent volley
Thailand ultimately fell one hurdle short of a place in the FIFA U-20 World Cup, but Sakunchai Saengthopho provided one of the tournament's most spectacular goals when his brilliant chest and volley brought the Thais level in their quarter-final against Qatar.
14. Qatar run riot in extra time
Qatar matches were a safe bet for those hoping to see goals, and the quarter-final was no exception. The West Asians were minutes away from elimination, but an 87th-minute leveller, and a stunning four goals in extra-time ultimately sealed a memorable 7-3 quarter-final win.
15. 60,154 fill stands for Japan-Indonesia blockbuster
In a match which showed the strength of Asian youth football on the pitch, and the passion of the stands off it, Indonesia fans arrived in startling numbers to support their side's bid for a place at the FIFA U-20 World Cup.
It was the largest AFC U-19 Championship attendance since 1977, and set a modern record for the competition.
16. Higashi's hammer
Japan's Shunki Higashi found the perfect way to silence the 60,000-strong crowd, giving his side the lead with a 35-yard left-foot masterpiece that was still rising when it hit the back of the net.
17. Kageyama talks business
While Japan eliminated the hosts, its fair to say their head coach Masanaga Kageyama won over the local media pack, even responding to one journalist's inquiry regarding his availability to coach a local Indonesian club.
"Make me an offer," he laughed. "But I think you'll need to talk with the JFA."
18. Jeon and Al Ammar's superb semis
The star individuals of each of the finalists, Korea Republic's Jeon Se-jin and Saudi Arabia's Turki Al Ammar, took turns lighting up Pakansari Stadium on semi-final day. Jeon began by scoring twice to claim Player of the Match honours against Qatar, while Al Ammar scored his customary early goal before being voted best on the pitch against Japan.
19. Al Ammar takes charge of final
It was entirely fitting that Turki Al Ammar should have such a say in deciding the final. The competition's Most Valuable Player scored the opening goal in Saudi Arabia's opening match, quarter-final and semi-final, and he took just over 100 seconds one the tournament decider to give his side a lead they never gave up.
Recommended Stories :