The 2018 AFC Under-16 tournament gets under way

The 2018 AFC Under-16 tournament gets under way in Kuala Lumpur today, Thursday, 20th September, when Group A opponents hosts Malaysia and Tajikistan lock horns at MBPJ Stadium at 4:30pm, Malaysian time.

Ahead of the game and the start of the event itself, representatives of the four teams in Group A fielded questions from the assembled media in a lively press conference held at the Sheraton Hotel Petaling Jaya on Wednesday at Noon.

The two other teams in the Group, Japan and Thailand, completed the numbers.
Australia, playing in Group D, begin their campaign with a match on Saturday evening at the same MBPJ Stadium at 745pm Malaysian time against Korea Republic (aka South Korea).

Background:

Hosts Malaysia will be counting on home support when they kick start the AFC U-16 Championship 2018 against Tajikistan on September 20, while fellow Group A opponents Japan and Thailand prepare to battle just hours later.
Oman, who clinched the coveted prize in 1996 and 2000, will face stiff challenge from fellow West Asians Yemen on September 21, as Jordan prepare to entertain 2010 and 2014 champions DPR Korea later in the day.

All eyes will be on Vietnam as their rising stars aim to emulate the success of their U-23 side in China earlier this year, but the young Golden Stars will face a tough task when they open their campaign against India. IR Iran meanwhile will face Indonesia, with both matches to kick off on September 21.

Iraq’s cast of 2016 proved their quality in winning the title and their 2018 side will be hoping for a roaring start when they take on debutantes Afghanistan on September 22. Korea Republic will open their campaign in a thrilling contest against fellow heavyweights Australia on the same day.

BOTN reporting:
In the Back of the Net will be attending the pre-tournament press conferences for the remaining three Groups, with Australia and their Group D opponents being introduced to the media on Friday at Noon.

We’ll be reporting on all of Australia’s matches and a number of other key matches as well.
Coaches from left to right in the photo below are from Malaysia,Tajikistan, Thailand and Japan

Coaches of all teams are:

Malaysia LIM TEONG KIM
Japan MORIYAMA YOSHIRO
Thailand THONGCHAI RUNGREANGLEAS
Tajikistan RAKHIMOV ZAYNIDIN

DPR Korea PAK JONG CHOL
Oman YAQOUB SAUD SAIF AL SABAHI
Yemen MAGDY SAYED MOHAMED SHALABY
Jordan ABDALLAH SAMIH ATIEN ELQUTATI

IR Iran ABBAS CHAMANIAN
Vietnam VU HONG VIET
India BIBIANO FERNANDES
Indonesia FAKHRI HUSAINI

Iraq FAISAL AZEEZ JEBUR
Korea Republic KIM JUNG SOO
Australia TREVOR BRIAN MORGAN
Afghanistan SAYED HADI KAZEMI

By Paul Green in Malaysia
20 September, 2018