The largest attendance of the AFC U-19 Championship 2018 saw 38,217 people witnessing a riot of goals between Qatar and hosts Indonesia at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium, Jakarta.
Qatar took a 4-1 lead at the break before a resilient Indonesian team fought hard to run them close with some magical free-kicks before losing 6-5. The game also saw the first hat-tricks of the Championship from Abdulrasheed Umaru of Qatar and Todd Rivaldo Ferre of Indonesia.
Group A: Qatar defeat Indonesia 6-5
(QAT: Hashim Ali 11’, 51’, Abdulrasheed Umaru 14’, 41’, 56’, Mohammed Waad Abdulwahhab 24’; INA: Muhammad Luthfi Kamal Baharsyah 28’, Todd Rivaldo Ferre 65’, 73’, 81’, Saddil Ramdani 69’)
Qatari coach Bruno Miguel Nogueira Pinheiro started with a 4-1-4-1 tactic which meandered to a 3-2-3-2 formation with Abdulla Almurisi switching to a striker role and Ahmed Al Minhali stepping into a defensive midfield position. Qatar targeting the long balls upfront garnered 78 long passes with an excellent crossing accuracy of 45%. They thumped eighteen shots of which ten found the target, and five were off the mark.
Qatar struck first after a defensive lapse from Nurhidayat Haji Haris saw Hashim Ali thrash the ball home from close range to make it 1-0.
Following a fastbreak Mohammed Waad Abdulwahhab set up Abdulrasheed Umaru who made it 2-0 for Qatar with his right footed shot finding the center of the goal.
Mohammed Waad Abdulwahhab’s left footed shot from outside the box deflected off the Indonesian captain Nurhidayat Haji Haris into the goal much to the dismay of the Indonesian custodian Muhamad Riyandi.
Indonesia reduced the deficit to 3-1 when Muhammad Luthfi Kamal Baharsyah’s spectacular free-kick of a right-footed shot to the bottom right corner, to deceive Qatari goalie Salah Zakaria.
Abdulrasheed Umaru made it 4-1 as he got in front of defender Rachmat Irianto to spank the ball into the roof of the net off Ahmed Al Minhali’s cross.
In the 51st minute, an unmarked Umaru’s strike got parried away by Muhamad Riyandi. The resultant follow-up was buried into the bottom left corner by Hashim Ali to make it 5-1.
Umaru got his hat-trick after a breakthrough pass from Abdulwahhab got him clear ahead of the defenders. Umaru sprinted ahead of the defence and smashed the ball past Riyandi to give Qatar a five-goal cushion.
A resilient Indonesia launched their comeback with a scintillating free-kick from a set-piece. Ferre found the top right corner of the Qatari goal to make it 6-2.
Saddil Ramdani made it 6-3 for Indonesia with a mind-boggling strike from a free kick as it shot past the diving Salah Zakaria to find the top right corner.
Indonesia made it 6-4 as aspirations of a comeback grew stronger as they made a mockery of the Qatari lead. Ferre got past three defenders in Nasir Baksh, Abdollah Ali Saei and Ahmed Suhail and the goalkeeper to come up with a right-footed strike to find the target.
A happy Indonesian coach Indra Sjafri would have been proud of the way their wards fought back to bring down the deficit to a mere one goal in the end. Starting with a 4-4-2 formation, it transformed into a 4-2-3-1 change with Muhammad Rafli Mursalim working more in the attacking midfield along with midfielders Witan Sulaeman and Saddil Ramdani.
Indonesia enjoyed 67% possession even though they were fighting from behind for the most duration of the game. They won an astounding 63% of aerial duels and completed 450 passes to end the match with a passing accuracy of 78%. They had 16 shots of which eight were on target and five off the mark.
With tempers flaring the Qatari head coach Bruno Pinheiro was sent to the stands by Thai referee Sivakorn Pu-Udom.
Syahrian Abimanyu found Todd Rivaldo Ferre whose blistering right footed shot burst through the hands of the Qatar custodian Salah Zakaria to lodge into the net.
Qatar dug deep into their reserve with desperate defending which saw them earning five yellow cards in the game of which four came after Indonesia launched their comeback.
Qatar keeps their hopes alive of a place in the competition’s quarter-finals after a nail-biting victory over Indonesia. Indonesia, on the other hand, needs to work on their defence when they take on the group leaders Emirates to book themselves a place in the knockout stages.