Todd Rivaldo Ferre: One man, one almighty fightback

Gabriel Tan Gabriel Tan

FOX Sports Asia football editor Gabriel Tan looks back at Todd Rivaldo Ferre’s virtuoso display in Indonesia’s 6-5 defeat to Qatar at the AFC U-19 Championship.

It was supposed to end up as an emphatic victory to Qatar, one which would get their AFC U-19 Championship firmly back on track.

After losing 2-1 to United Arab Emirates in their Group A opener, the Qataris found themselves leading Indonesia 6-1 at the Gelora Bung Karno, having completely sliced apart the hosts with some clinical attacking football.

Then, all of a sudden, a diminutive 19-year-old hailing from Jayapura produced a scintillating display that threatened to inspire Indonesia to producing a comeback of epic proportions.

The Qatari defence, almost all of whom stood at least a head taller, had absolutely no answer for Rivaldo Ferre as he netted a brilliant hat-trick to bring his side on the brink of cancelling out their opponents’ five-goal advantage.

Although it was not to be in the end, Rivaldo Ferre’s brilliant cameo will go down as one of the greatest individual displays in AFC U-19 Championship history.

Here, FOX Sports Asia recounts his moments on the field.

54:47 min (Qatar 5-1 Indonesia): With his side trailing 5-1, Indonesia coach Indra Sjafri decides to use his second substitution to introduce Rivaldo Ferre for striker Rafli Mursalim, who had battled hard but to little effect.

Moments before taking to the field, as he stood by the touchline, the Persipura Jayapura had his eyes closed and hands locked together in prayer, as though looking for some inspiration from above.

Little did he know – it was him that would prove to be the divine intervention.

55:49 min (Qatar 6-1 Indonesia): Just a minute after Rivaldo Ferre was brought on, Indonesia concede a 6th.

Again, questions will be asked of the defence as possession is given away inside their own half.

Mohammed Jadoua immediately plays an incisive through-pass to release Abdulrasheed Umaru, who emphatically fires past the onrushing Muhammad Riyandi for his hat-trick.

64:45 min (Qatar 6-2 Indonesia): Indonesia reduce the deficit as Rivaldo Ferre opens his account for the evening and the tournament.

Lining up a freekick on the left wing, and having seen Luthfi Kamal score from a similar position in the first half, the pint-sized forward opts to go for goal when a cross into the box might have been the safer option.

However, Qatar goalkeeper Salah Zakaria once again misjudges the flight of the ball as the looping delivery ends up in the top corner.

Still, surely just a consolation?

67:24 min (Qatar 6-2 Indonesia): After pouncing on a loose ball outside the Qatar box, Rivaldo Ferre drops a shoulder and effortlessly glides inside Yousef Aymen before being unceremoniously hacked down.

Freekick to Indonesia from about 23 yards out – is he going to have another go?

68:38 min (Qatar 6-3 Indonesia): Nope, this time it is Saddil Ramdani who takes responsibility but with the same end result!

A ferocious left-footed strike by the Persela Lamongan man clips the bar and lands in goal. Replays suggest that the ball might have come back out and gone in again off Salah but the goal is credited to Saddil.

All of a sudden, things are starting to get interesting.

72:38 min (Qatar 6-4 Indonesia): Almost certainly the goal of the tournament.

Receiving possession from Witan Sulaeman just forward of the centre circle, Rivaldo Ferre turns on the afterburners and skips around Abdollah Al-Saei, bursts past Nasir Baksh into the area before cutting back inside the same defender.

Abdollah has raced back in recovery but, just for good measure, the Indonesian wizard beats him again with what should soon be his trademark drop of the shoulder and sends an unstoppable strike arrowing into the top corner.

The comeback is well and truly on the cards now.

80:43 min (Qatar 6-5 Indonesia): Just incredible – the Indonesians are now just one goal away from leveling the scores.

It is pretty obvious for the hosts who they should be getting the ball to by now and the super-sub does not let them down.

This time, it is Syahrian Abimanyu who will claim the assist and he will probably never get an easier one to his name.

A simple layoff 30 yards from goal to Rivaldo Ferre, who effortlessly beats Yousef to advance into the box before shifting the ball onto his right foot.

The Qatar defence backs off and the fear in their eyes is plain for all to see, and despite having three opponents standing guard right in front of him, Rivaldo Ferre somehow manages to squeeze his shot through the legs of Salah.

Only one goal in it now… and there’s still nine minutes to play plus injury-time!

95:47 min (Qatar 6-5 Indonesia): Yet, despite their best efforts, a breathtaking encounter comes to an end with Qatar the victors.

The Indonesians fans will not be happy as referee Sivakorn Pu-udom blows the final whistle with time still remaining from the six minutes he added on, and with the hosts having just launched the ball into the Qatari half.

Nonetheless, Garuda Muda – and Rivaldo Ferre – deserve plenty of credit for their spirited fightback.

Next up is a must-win game against Group A leaders United Arab Emirates, who have already defeated Qatar and Chinese Taipei in their opening two encounters.

Three points in Wednesday’s clash is far from guaranteed but one thing should be certain: Todd Rivaldo Ferre will be playing from the start against the Emirati.