The junior Merah Putih are making a comeback after an absence of eight years from the tournament.
The 18th edition of the AFC U-16 Championship will kick-off in Malaysia on 20th September, stretching to 7th October. The Indian U-16 national side have been drawn in Group C along with Indonesia, Vietnam and Iran, in what will be a true test of the skills of the Colts. The top two teams from the group will proceed to the knockout stages of the tournament.
In this article, we take a look at Indonesia’s U-16 team, who will face India in the group stages.
About The Tournament
The AFC U-16 Championship is a biennial youth football tournament that is organized by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). The tournament consists of 16 teams drawn into four groups, with two teams proceeding from each group. The top four teams at the end of the tournament will qualify for the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup. Iraq are the defending champions of the tournament.
About The Team
Indonesia have seen a rapid rise in youth development in recent times
The Indonesian U-16 side have never qualified for the FIFA U-17 World Cup and have a highest finish of fourth in the AFC Championship in 1990 in the UAE. This edition of the biennial tournament to be held in Malaysia will be their sixth overall appearance in the competition. With a FIFA ranking of 164th the “Merah Putih” will be hoping to have a good tournament to cement their place in their first-ever FIFA U-17 World Cup.
The side coached by Fakhri Husaini are a force to be reckoned with, as they topped their qualifying group consisting of Thailand, Laos, Timor-Leste and the Northern Mariana Islands, whom they defeated 18-0. They also triumphed in their maiden AFF U-16 Championship by beating Thailand on penalties in the final.
Husiani was appointed as the head coach of the Indonesian U-17 side in 2014
Fakhri Husiani took over the Indonesian U-17 side in 2014 and has overseen a renaissance in the Indonesian youth football scene in the last four years. The former Indonesia international will be hoping to add a good performance in the AFC U-16 Championship to his BURGEONING resume.
Ahludz Dzikri Fikri, Ernando Ari Sutaryadi, Muhammad Risky Sudirman,Muhammad Salman Alfarid, Muhammad Reza Fauzan, Mohammad Yudha Febrian, Fadillah Nur Rahman, Amiruddin Bagas Kaffa Ar-Rizqi, Kartika Vedhayanto, Komang Teguh Trisnanda Putra, Dandi Maulana Hakim, Brylian Negietha Dwiki Aldama, David Maulana, Hamsa Medari Lestaluhu, Rendy Juliansyah, Andre Oktaviansyah, Yadi Mulyadi, Muhammad Talaohu, Amanar Abdillah, Sutan Diego Armando Ondriano Zico, Mohammad Supriadi, Muhammad Fajar Fathurahman, Amiruddin Bagus Kahfi Al-Fikri.
Players To Watch
Amiruddin Bagus Kahfi
Kahfi scored 12 goals in his side’s AFF U-16 Cup campaign
The striker is a product of the Chelsea Soccer School in Indonesia and has found his scoring boots in the build-up to the tournament. The young man scored a mammoth 12 goals in his side’s AFF U-16 Championship triumph, including a hat-trick in a 4-2 win over Vietnam. He will hope to carry his form on to the AFC U-16 Championship.
Sutan Diego Armando Zico
Like Bagus, Zico is a product of the Chelsea Soccer School and is a prolific goalscorer. His partnership with Bagus will be key to any hopes that Indonesia have of lifting the title.
What To Expect
Indonesia will be one of India’s toughest opponents in the group. The side should find progression from the group relatively easy and will be hoping to finish in the top four of the competition.