AFC U-19 Championship: Hosts Indonesia off to confident start, Thailand fight back


BY        ZULHILMI ZAINAL       Follow on Twitter

The 2018 AFC U-19 Championship has kicked off in Jakarta, Indonesia, with six matchday one games played since Thursday. Here are the updates.

Hosts Indonesia kicked off the tournament in confident fashion by defeating Chinese Taipei 3-1, thanks to Egy Maulana Vikri's contributions. The Lechia Gdańsk star scored one goal and assisted another in the match that was held at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium.

Indonesia vs Chinese Taipei match highlights

In the other match in Group A, United Arab Emirates (UAE) defeated Qatar 2-1. Abdulrasheed Umaru's 36th-minute goal for Qatar cancelled out Ahmad Fawzi's 16th minute opener, but Ali Saleh's wonderful free kick in the 41st minute was enough to give UAE the all three points.

UAE vs Qatar match highlights

Thailand meanwhile left it late to hold Iraq to a 3-3 draw, thanks to a late equaliser. They opened the scoring in the Group B match in the 26th minute through a goal scored by Kritsada Kaman, but their poor defending allowed Iraq to hit them with three goals (Moamel Abdulridha 37', Wakaa Ramadhan 42' and Hasan Abdulkareem 66'). Korawich Tasa pulled one back for the Thais three minutes from time, which provided them with the impetus to push for the equaliser. In the fourth minute of injury time, Suphanat Mueanta pounced on a mistake by Iraq goalkeeper Haval Bahaalddin, to snatch one point for his side.

Iraq vs Thailand match highlights

The Japan-DPR Korea clash meanwhile has ended up as the highest scoring match in the tournament so far, with defending champions Japan edging DPR Korea 5-2. They raced to a 2-0 lead thanks to Koki Saito and Hiroki Ito's 8th and 19th minute goals, but allowed DPR Korea to get back in the match through goals by Kye Tam (36') and Kang Kuk-Chol II (p. 41'). But it was all Japan in the second half, after Takefusa Kubo helped them retake the lead through his beautifully-struck 65th minute free kick goal. And when Sin Kwang-Sok was shown a straight red card in the 81st minute for a foolish stamp, it gave Japan the chance to add two more goals; by Taisei Miyashiro (89') and Hiroki Abe (93').

Japan vs DPR Korea match highlights

Another Southeast Asian side, Vietnam meanwhile opened their Group C campaign with a 2-1 defeat to Jordan. Nham Manh Dung gave Vietnam the lead with his 21st-minute strike, but Mohammad Atieh equalised just eight minutes later. One minute from time, Mohammad Alzu'bi tapped in the late winner.

Vietnam vs Jordan match highlights

Korea Republic meanwhile were stunned with a late equaliser by Australia, in the match that ended tied at 1-1. A defensive miscommunication allowed Jeon Se-Jin to sneak in the 52nd minute opener, but Ramy Najjarine did not have any defensive slip-ups to take advantage of, when he netted his stunning 89th minute equaliser. Receiving the ball on the right flank, he cut inside at the edge of the penalty box before launching a ball that sailed over the goalkeeper and into the top far corner.

Korea Republic vs Australia match highlights

 

Group D matchday one encounters will be played on Saturday, including Malaysia's encounter against Saudi Arabia.

Read more on Malaysia U-19 and the tournament.

 

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