AFC U-19 Championship: Indonesia lose 11-goal thriller to Qatar

Gabriel Tan Gabriel Tan

Indonesia produced a gargantuan fightback but ultimately came up short on Sunday as they lost 6-5 to Qatar in the AFC U-19 Championship.

Trailing 6-1 at the 56th-minute mark after Qatar were inspired by an Abdulrasheed Umaru hat-trick, the hosts refused to give in and somehow hit back with four goals but were just unable to get the 6th they needed to force the draw.

The result means Qatar are now level on points with Indonesia in Group A but in second place due to their superior head-to-head record.

However, the Indonesians can take heart from their spirited display and know that victory over current leaders United Arab Emirates in their final group match should be enough to send them through to the quarter-finals.

Still, they will need to cut out the defensive errors that effectively saw them initially hand the game to Qatar, which started in the 11th minute when captain Nurhidayat fumbled in possession in front of his own goal and was punished by Hashim Ali with a simple finish.

Three minutes later, more lackadaisical defending was again punished as Abdulrasheed was allowed to race clean through on goal and finish past Muhammad Riyandi.

The Qataris added a third in the 24th minute when a long-range effort from Mohammed Jadoua went in following a wicked deflection off Nurhidayat, although Luthfi Kamal reduced the deficit four minutes after when he went straight for goal with a freekick from the left and sent the ball looping over Salah Zakaria.

Nonetheless, Abdulrasheed restored his side’s three-goal cushion four minutes before the break, producing a brilliant touch to receive a left-wing cross and turn towards goal in one slick movement before firing into the far corner.

Hashim Ali then got in on the act six minutes after the restart with a clinical finish after the hosts failed to clear their lines, before Abdulrasheed completed his hat-trick five minutes later to make it 6-1 after getting in behind the opposition defence to score.

Indonesia gave themselves a faint chance five minutes after the hour mark when – from almost the same spot where Luthfi had scored – Todd Rivaldo Ferre went straight for goal and Salah was beaten again following a similar error in judging the flight of the ball.

Another freekick reaped more dividends for the Indonesians in the 69th minute, this time from the edge of the box as Saddil Ramdani unleashed a ferocious left-footed effort that went in off the bar.

What seemed an improbable comeback then looked genuinely achievable in the 73rd minute when Rivaldo produced a moment of sheer brilliance, picking up possession 40 yards out and beating four challenges before lashing a rocket into the top corner.

And, with nine minutes remaining, the Persipura Jayapura starlet completed a hat-trick off his own with another spellbinding run, dancing his way past three defenders before beating Salah with another powerful drive

But it was not to be in the end as Qatar were just able to play out the remainder of the contest to claim the spoils in what is almost certain to go down as the match of the tournament.

QATAR: Salah Zakaria, Nasir Baksh, Ahmed Suhail, Yousef Aymen, Ahmed Al-Minhali, Abdollah Ali Saei, Mohammed Jadoua, Khaled Mohammed (Naseer Al-Yazidi 83’), Abdulla Al-Murisi (Ahmed Al-Ganehi 62’), Hashim Ali (Eisa Palangi 79’), Abdulrasheed Umaru.

INDONESIA: Muhammad Riyandi, Asnawi Bahar, Nurhidayat (Indra Mustafa 46’), Rachmat Irianto, Firza Andika, Luthfi Kamal, Witan Sulaeman, Syahrian Abimanyu, Saddil Ramdani (Feby Eka Putra 84’), Egy Maulana, Rafli Mursalim (Todd Rivaldo Ferre 55’).

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