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AFC U16 Championship

Indian U16 Football Team: Know Your Rivals - Indonesia

05:53 GMT+3 26/08/2018
Singapore, Indonesia, AFF U16
Goal tells you everything you need to know about India U16' opponents in Group C of the 2018 AFC Championship to be held in Malaysia...

Quick Facts

Country: Indonesia

FIFA Senior Team Ranking: 164

Nickname: Merah Putih (The Red and White)

Last official match played:  Thailand 1 – 1 (P) Indonesia (August 11, 2018)

Coach:  Fachri Husaini

Team Highlights

 

The senior Indonesian football team were the first Asian side to qualify for the FIFA World Cup when they were still called the Dutch East Indies. They participated in the 1938 edition in France where they crashed out in the first round after defeat to Hungary. Since then, the national team has not been able to qualify for any single World Cup although they have qualified for the AFC Asian Cup on four separate occasions.

The U16 outfit, meanwhile, have never qualified for the FIFA U17 World Cup. They made their maiden appearance in the AFC U16 Championship in 1986 and have since gone on to appear in the competition on four occasions with a fourth place finish in the 1990 edition in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) being their best-ever finish. Their participation in Malaysia will be their sixth overall appearance in the competition.

The Indonesia football association was suspended by FIFA in 2015 after the governing body and the sports ministry failed to resolve a dispute over who ran the game in the country. This led to the U16 side being disqualified from entering qualification for the 2016 AFC Championship held in India. The association’s suspension was lifted a year later on 2016.

ROAD TO MALAYSIA

Coached by Fachri Husaini, the Indonesian U16 outfit is clearly a team on the rise and one which will be tricky opponents to navigate for India. They secured their qualification to the main tournament in Malaysia after topping a qualifying group comprising of Thailand, Laos, Timor-Leste and Northern Mariana Islands. They won all four of their group matches including a whopping 18-0 victory over Northern Mariana Islands.

Since then, they have been sharpening up for the continental showpiece by emerging as champions at two separate multi-team events. The first of them came in the 12-team 2017 JENESYS Japan-ASEAN U16 tournament where they finished as the winners after an impressive win over Vietnam in the final held at March this year.

They have followed up that triumph with their maiden AFF (ASEAN Football Federation) U16 Championship title where they went undefeated throughout before beating Thailand on penalties in the final. In the group stages of the competition which was hosted by Indonesia itself, the team secured a 4-2 victory making it the second instance that they have got the better of the rising South East Asian youth outfit.

The side also took on arch-rivals Malaysia in an official friendly in July this year where they tasted a narrow 3-4 defeat.

Players To Watch Out For 

Amiruddin Bagus Kahfi: The young forward will lead the attacking hopes of Indonesia in the tournament. A product of the Chelsea Soccer School in Indonesia, Bagus has been in fine goal-scoring form leading up to the tournament. In Indonesia’s AFF Cup triumph, the striker finished as the top-scorer of the competition with a staggering 12 goals to his name. He also slammed in an impressive hat-trick in his side’s 4-2 win over Vietnam.

Sutan Diego Armando Zico: With a name that is tailor-made for football, Sutan Diego is another Indonesian forward worth keeping an eye on. Like Bagus, he too has emerged from the Chelsea Soccer School. His link-up with his fellow Chelsea Soccer School forward is pivotal to Indonesia’s game play and will be one of the biggest threats India will face in the group stages.