The 2019 AFF U-22 Championship came to a close with Indonesia lifting the title. The week-long competition brought to the fore many youngsters who put in brilliant performances. We at FOX Sports Asia, have picked five of the best.
#5 Marco Ballini (Thailand)
Italian-Thai defender Marco Ballini flew under the radar for much of the tournament. Ballini played the role of the central defender in the Thailand U-22 side to perfection, helping his side keep four clean sheets in five matches.
Ballini was also impressive in the Final, especially when playing against an in-form Marinus Wanewar. The 20-year-old defender kept his opponent in check throughout the match. However, to his dismay, Sani Rizki and Osvaldo Haay scored to sink Thailand to lift the title.
#4 Firza Andika (Indonesia)
Firza Andika was one of the biggest star heading into the 2019 AFF U-22 Championship. The young defender had recently been picked by Belgian club Tubize and was expected to be a real spark in the Indonesian side.
And he didn’t disappoint either. After slow starts to his team’s campaign, during which they conceded three goals in the first two matches, Firza stepped up for them. The 19-year-old defender put in some good displays in the next two matches and managed to help his side to a clean sheet as well.
The youngster also helped his side from falling behind in the Final several times. Most notably, when he cleared a goalbound shot off the line.
#3 Tran Danh Trung (Vietnam)
The 2019 AFF U-22 Championship was all about the goalscorers and Tran Danh Trung turned out to be one of the best ones.
The Vietnamese forward usually started on the left-hand side of a three-man forward line. However, he drifted inside frequently in search of goals.
Danh Trung’s biggest contribution came on the opening night itself, with the talented forward scoring Vietnam’s first goal in a come-from-behind win against Philippines. He then scored two more in the next matchday, as his side ran riot over a hapless Timor-Leste.
As a result, the Vietnamese forward finished as the joint top-scorer of the competition, with three goals to his name.
#2 Marinus Wanewar (Indonesia)
AFF U-22 Championship 2019: Malaysia and Indonesia play out an entertaining 2-2 draw
Marinus Wanewar has had a lively week off the pitch. The Indonesian forward was caught in the midst of controversy after his side’s match against hosts Cambodia. However, on the pitch, the 22-year-old forward has been absolutely lethal.
The Persipura Jayapura forward has three goals to his name in the AFF U-22 Championship, all of which were scored in the group stage. Marinus scored his first two goals against Malaysia, before netting a crucial one in the win against Cambodia.
#1 Saringkan Promsupa (Thailand)
AFF U-22 Championship 2019 – Thailand beat Timor Leste 1-0
Marinus Wanewar and Tran Danh Trung are joined by Saringkan Promsupa as the top-scorers of the 2019 AFF U-22 Championship. So what makes Saringkan better than the two? For starters, he’s a centre-back!
Saringkan takes the number one spot on the list, despite being on the losing side in the Final. The Thai captain put in brilliant performances throughout the competition, even pitching in three goals.
Meanwhile, his defensive contributions cannot be overlooked as well. The Muangthong United youngster helped Thailand keep four clean sheets in five round of matches and even scored a penalty in their shootout win over Cambodia.