The 2018 AFC Under-19 Championships started at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta between the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.
Group A: The United Arab Emirates defeated Qatar 2-1
(UAE - Ahmad Fawzi 16', Ali Saleh 41'; QAT - Abdulrasheed Umaru 36')
UAE coach Ludovic Batelli employed a 4-5-1 formation with Ali Saleh forging upfront to support the lone forward Ahmad Fawzi. Mansoor Al-Harbi had to drop back to a defensive midfield position as Qatar dominated the proceedings for the entire duration of the game.
Qatar enjoyed 60% possession with 48% of the action taking place at the mid-field. Starting with a 4-3-2-1 formation, they quickly turned it around to a 2-3-4-1 style, with Ahmed Al Minhali and Nasir Baksh moving up on the wings to trouble the Emirati defence.
It was UAE who went ahead on the 16th minute when Ahmad Fawzi fired past Zakaria Salah's bottom left corner after a through pass from Ali Saleh. Qatar's persistence paid off in the 36th minute as Umaru scored at the far post after Khaled Al Vhooshi failed to clear the ball from a corner.
Ali Saleh who impressed with his deft assist in setting up the first goal found the back of the net from a stunning free-kick to give UAE the lead. Saleh missed his second goal after Qatar's Salah saved a 54th-minute strike to keep them in the hunt.
The Emirati defense withered Qatar's dominance with thirteen interceptions and 36 clearances as the trio of Mansor Al-Harbi, Majid Rashid, and Abdelrahman Saleh with four tackles each ensured an 83 percent success rate in the tackles won.
It was unfortunate that Mansoor Al Harbi had to leave the field in the 85th minute after he picked his second yellow card. They eventually hung on to get past a fighting Oman to record their first victory.
Group A: Indonesia defeated Chinese Taipei 3-1
(INA - Egy Maulana Vikri 50', Witan Sulaiman 70', 89'; TPE - Wang Chung-Yu 53')
Egy Maulana who plays for Poland's Lechia Gdansk scored the host's opening goal of the tournament in the 50th minute with a left-footed strike from Witan Sulaiman's cross.
With a standard 4-4-2 formation, Indonesia exerted pressure on the Taipei's defense with twenty-nine shots of which ten were on target. Enjoying 62% ball possession, Indonesia had an astonishing 87% passing accuracy with 536 completed passes.
Chinese Taipei goalkeeper Li Guan-Pe was kept busy during the entire duration of the match coming up with seven saves in total to deny any addition to the Indonesian tally.
A right footed shot from Wang Chung-Yu from a Huang's pass helped Taipei to restore parity.
Taipei's single pronged attacks from the left field were dealt off smoothly by the Indonesians as they managed a comprehensive victory backed by enormous crowd support.
Witan Sulaiman who was the star player for Indonesia headed from close range to give Indonesia the lead before doubling it up with a right-footed strike in the 89th minute to seal the victory.