2018 AFC U-19 Championships: UAE pound Chinese Taipei 8-1
A record 4781 people viewed the United Arab Emirates crushing Chinese Taipei at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium. The attendance was the best so far in the AFC Under-19 Championships which does not involve the host country Indonesia. The gifted 18-year-old midfielder Ali Saleh came up with yet another exceptional display, garnering an assist and two goals to record the second successive victory for the UAE in the competition.
Group A: The United Arab Emirates def Chinese Taipei 8-1
(UAE: Ahmad Fawzi 10’, Ali Saleh 20’, 67, Majid Rashid 35’, 75’, Rashed Mubarak 51’, 59’, Abdullah Al-Naqbi 70’; TPE: Wu Yen-Shu 74’)
Ludovic Batelli started with a 4-3-3 formation for the UAE, which turned out to become a 3-4-3 formation, with defender Abdelrahman Saleh exploring the left flank into Taipei’s territory as a left winger. It turned out to be more attacking, with them enjoying 66% of ball possession.
The UAE had an astonishing 33 attempts on the Taipei goalmouth, of which 23 shots were from inside the box and ten from outside of the penalty area. An incredible 18 shots found the target. It was no surprise to see 46% of the action take place in the Taipei half. The defense also held good as they won 17 tackles.
It all started with a perfectly weighted cross from Ali Saleh to the center of the penalty area. The Taipei defense was in tatters as three defenders stood close watching Ahmad Fawzi score from close range.
Ali Saleh scored the second goal for in the 20th minute. A probing delivery from Rashed Mubarak was stopped partly by Li Guan-Pei. The resultant rebound fell to Saleh who drove it inside the goalpost to make it 2-0.
Majid Rashid turned neatly inside the box from Ali Saleh’s pass to get past Taipei’s Hou Pin-I before firing a right footed shot past the Taipei custodian to make it 3-0.
Defender Abdelrahman Saleh ran wide into the Taipei penalty area and pulled the ball back to Rashed Mubarak whose unstoppable right footed shot found the goal to make it 4-0.
Taipei, who began with a 4-4-1-1 formation had to rearrange to a defensive 5-2-2-1 tactic with midfielder Huang Jyun-Wun falling back as a defender. Wang Sheng-Han and Wu Yen-Shu adopted themselves to a defensive midfield position. Forward Wang Chung-Yu dragged himself back as a roving midfielder.
With only five attempts on the UAE goal, of which three found on target, Taipei dug deep in defense to make 30 clearances and their goalkeeper Li Guan-Pei came up with nine saves to prevent from sliding into double figures.
Mubarak doubled his tally with Ahmad Fawzi playing the role of the supplier. Rashed Mubarak broke past the defense to thump it behind the goal with a superb right-footed strike.
A precise cross from Tahnoon Al-Zaabi found an unmarked Ali Saleh who came up at the far post with a superb left volley to get past the Taipei custodian to make it 6-0.
A glancing header from the front post to the bottom right corner from Eid Khamis’s corner left Li Guan-Pei with no chance of making a save as the ball went in off the goalpost.
Chinese Taipei pulled one back from Wu Yen-Shu's scorcher from a distance. Hou Pin-I's header set up Wu Yen Shi, whose shot was parried into the goal by Emirates custodian Suhail Al Mutawa.
An unmarked Majid Rashid came up with a brilliant right footed shot from an assist by Rashed Mubarak to punish the Taipei’s lacklustre defense to score the eighth.
Taipei, with two defeats looks out of the reckoning for a quarter-final place as they face Qatar in their last group game. The UAE play Indonesia and would be looking to cement their position at the top of the group with a victory over the hosts.