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2018 AFC U-19 Championships: 10-man Indonesia knock out UAE through Witan Sulaeman’s strike

Number 8 Witan Sulaeman  scored the winner for Indonesia (Image Courtesy: Foxsportsasia)
Number 8 Witan
  scored the winner for Indonesia (Image Courtesy: Foxsportsasia)
Modified 25 Oct 2018

Egged on by 30,000 supporters at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium, hosts Indonesia stunned n the United Arab Emirates by a solitary goal to knock them out of the 2018 AFC U-19 Championships. Indonesia has entered the quarter-finals after a hiatus of 40 years, their last being their 1978 Championships in Bangladesh. 

Indra Sjafri made just one change to the side which played in the eleven goal thriller against Qatar with striker Muhammad Rafli Mursalim replaced by striker Hanis Putra.

Ludovic Batelli made a couple of changes to the side which had a field day against Taipei in their previous encounter. Midfielder Tahnoon Al-Zaabi and Striker Rashed Mubarak making way for midfielders Mansor Al-Harbi and Abdullah Al-Naqbi

Group A: Indonesia defeat United Arab Emirates 1-0

(INA: Witan Sulaeman 23')

The United Arab Emirates, adopting a 4-5-1 formation at the start changed to a 2-3-3-2 formation with Ahmed Abdulla and Abdelrahman Saleh venturing as wingmen, while Ali Saleh donned the role of a striker. The move earned its rewards with 11 shots coming from the UAE. With only two of their shots finding the target and seven missing the mark left coach Ludovic Batelli with a worried look.

With 33% of the action taking place at the Indonesian half, Emirates failed to capitalize on a plethora of opportunities they had to score. Ali Saleh again proved that he was a class apart managing five successful dribbles. Emirates custodian Suhail Al-Mutawa had a busy outing garnering seven saves.

Indonesia changed from a 4-4-1-1 style to a 4-5-1 formation, allowed Witan Sulaeman to play as a roving midfielder. Their shooting accuracy of 69% was top notch with 11 of the 13 shots finding the target. With a tackle success rate of 70%, their defence looked solid with an astonishing 32 clearances to their credit.

Their counterattacks proved lethal with long passes as they managed only 15% of the action in Emirates half. Firza Andika with five successful dribbles was a significant contributor for the Indonesians. 

The Garuda' began brilliantly when Egy Maulana Vikri was found in space with only Suhail Al Mutawa to beat. But a high lob from Muhammad Luthfi Kamal Baharsyah gave ample time for the goalkeeper to collect the ball.


Hanis Putra missed a brilliant opportunity to put the hosts ahead, but he failed to latch on to a cross from Saddil Ramdani.

Their breakthrough goal came after a poor first touch from Yousif Ali Al-Mheiri, provided Witan Sulaeman with a free ball as he outpaced the defenders to slam a brilliant right footed shot to put the hosts ahead.

Ali Saleh’s free kick, produced a solid save from Muhammad Riyandi as Emirates kept threatening the Indonesian defense for the equalizer.

Indonesia suffered a setback in the 53rd minute after their captain Nurhidayat Haji Haris collected a second yellow card after a bad foul on Omar Ahmed Saleh.

The best chance for Emirates cane in the 74th minute, but Ali Saleh’s volley ended wide from 12 yards. A scorcher in the 78th minute from Muhammad Luthfi Kamal Baharsyah got pushed over the bar by Emirate's goalie, immediately followed by another top class save in the 95th minute.

Tahnoon Al-Zaabi received a yellow card from Korean referee Kim Hee-Gonfor a reckless challenge.

Breathtaking end-to-end action in the final minutes between Qatar and Indonesia (Image Courtesy: Xinhuanet)
Breathtaking end-to-end action in the final minutes between Qatar and Indonesia (Image Courtesy: Xinhuanet)

In the final minutes, both teams were involved in breathtaking end-to-end action, but Indonesia held firm to secure a famous victory and book their place in the Quarter-finals.

The United Arab Emirates got knocked out of the competition, after being edged out on goals scored in matches between Emirates, Qatar, and Indonesia.

Standings Group A: Qatar 6, Indonesia 6, UAE 6, Chinese Taipei 0

Published 25 Oct 2018, 12:05 IST
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