The 2018 AFC U-16 Championship was the 18th edition of the AFC U-16 Championship, the biennial international youth football championship organised by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) for the men's under-16 national teams of Asia. It took place in Malaysia, which was appointed as hosts by the AFC on 25 July 2017, between 20 September and 7 October 2018. A total of 16 teams played in the tournament.
|Kejohanan Remaja B-16 AFC 2018|
|Dates||20 September – 7 October|
|Teams||16 (from 1 confederation)|
|Venue(s)||3 (in 2 host cities)|
|Champions||Japan (3rd title)|
|Goals scored||97 (3.13 per match)|
|Attendance||62,582 (2,019 per match)|
|Top scorer(s)|| Noah Botic|
Luqman Hakim (5 goals each)
|Best player(s)||Jun Nishikawa|
|Fair play award||Japan|
The top four teams of the tournament qualified for the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Brazil as the AFC representatives. Japan won their third title, and qualified together with runners-up Tajikistan and semi-finalists Australia and South Korea. Iraq were the defending champions but were eliminated in the group stage.
Qualifying was played on 16–29 September 2017. Malaysia also participated in the qualifiers, even though they had already qualified automatically as hosts.
The following 16 teams qualified for the final tournament.
|Team||Qualified as||Appearance||Previous best performance|
|Jordan||Group A winners||3rd||Quarter-finals (2010)|
|Tajikistan||Group B winners||3rd||Third place (2006)|
|Iran||Group C winners||11th||Champions (2008)|
|Iraq||Group D winners||10th||Champions (2016)|
|Yemen||Group E winners||5th||Runners-up (2002)|
|North Korea||Group F winners||11th||Champions (2010, 2014)|
|Indonesia||Group G winners||6th||Fourth place (1990)|
|South Korea||Group H winners||14th||Champions (1986, 2002)|
|Australia||Group I winners||6th||Semi-finals (2010, 2014)|
|Japan||Group J winners||15th||Champions (1994, 2006)|
|India||Group D runners-up[note 1]||8th||Quarter-finals (2002)|
|Oman||Group B runners-up[note 1]||10th||Champions (1996, 2000)|
|Thailand||Group G runners-up[note 1]||11th||Champions (1998)|
|Vietnam||Group I runners-up[note 1]||7th||Fourth place (2000)|
|Afghanistan||Group C runners-up[note 1]||1st||Debut|
The matches were played in three venues around Klang Valley. The venues were Bukit Jalil National Stadium, UM Arena Stadium and Petaling Jaya Stadium. The final match was held at Bukit Jalil National Stadium.
|Kuala Lumpur||Petaling Jaya|
|Bukit Jalil National Stadium||UM Arena Stadium||Petaling Jaya Stadium|
|Capacity: 87,411||Capacity: 1,000||Capacity: 25,000|
The draw of the final tournament was held on 26 April 2018, 15:00 MYT (UTC+8), at the AFC House in Kuala Lumpur. The 16 teams were drawn into four groups of four teams. The teams were seeded according to their performance in the 2016 AFC U-16 Championship final tournament and qualification, with the hosts Malaysia automatically seeded and assigned to Position A1 in the draw.
|Pot 1||Pot 2||Pot 3||Pot 4|
Players born on or after 1 January 2002 were eligible to compete in the tournament. Each team should register a squad of minimum 18 players and maximum 23 players, minimum three of whom must be goalkeepers.
The top two teams of each group advanced to the quarter-finals.
Teams were ranked according to points (3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw, 0 points for a loss), and if tied on points, the following tiebreaking criteria were applied, in the order given, to determine the rankings:
- Points in head-to-head matches among tied teams;
- Goal difference in head-to-head matches among tied teams;
- Goals scored in head-to-head matches among tied teams;
- If more than two teams are tied, and after applying all head-to-head criteria above, a subset of teams are still tied, all head-to-head criteria above are reapplied exclusively to this subset of teams;
- Goal difference in all group matches;
- Goals scored in all group matches;
- Penalty shoot-out if only two teams are tied and they met in the last round of the group;
- Disciplinary points (yellow card = 1 point, red card as a result of two yellow cards = 3 points, direct red card = 3 points, yellow card followed by direct red card = 4 points);
- Drawing of lots.
|Matchday 1||20–22 September 2018||1 v 4, 2 v 3|
|Matchday 2||23–25 September 2018||4 v 2, 3 v 1|
|Matchday 3||27–28 September 2018[note 1]||1 v 2, 3 v 4|
- Head-to-head result: Thailand 4–2 Malaysia.
|1||North Korea||3||2||1||0||6||3||+3||7||Knockout stage|
|1||South Korea||3||3||0||0||12||0||+12||9||Knockout stage|
|30 September – Bukit Jalil|
|4 October – Bukit Jalil|
|1 October – Bukit Jalil|
|7 October – Bukit Jalil|
|30 September – Petaling Jaya|
|North Korea||1 (2)|
|4 October – Petaling Jaya|
|Tajikistan (p)||1 (4)|
|Tajikistan (p)||1 (7)|
|1 October – Petaling Jaya|
|South Korea||1 (6)|
The winners qualified for the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup.
|2018 AFC U-16 Championship|
The following awards were given at the conclusion of the tournament:
|Top Goalscorer||Most Valuable Player||Fair Play award|
|Luqman Hakim[note 3]||Jun Nishikawa||Japan|
There were 97 goals scored in 31 matches, for an average of 3.13 goals per match.
- Ali Zahidi
- Luke Duzel
- Adam Leombruno
- Daniel Walsh
- Vikram Pratap Singh
- Bagas Kaffa
- Bagus Kahfi
- Rendy Juliansyah
- Aria Barzegar
- Hussein Sadeq
- Riku Handa
- Kuraba Kondo
- Shunsuke Mito
- Hikaru Naruoka
- Jun Nishikawa
- Mohannad Semreen
- Alif Mutalib
- Firdaus Kaironnisam
- Najmudin Akmal
- An Phyong-il
- Kim Won-il
- Pak Ryong-gwon
- Ri Hun
- Tariq Al-Mashary
- Nasser Al-Naabi
- Omar Al-Salti
- Paik Sang-hoon
- Yoon Suk-ju
- Rustam Soirov
- Sharifbek Rahmatov
- Apidet Janngam
- Khuất Văn Khang
- Saad Al-Qaaod
- Tamer Senan
1 own goal
Qualified teams for FIFA U-17 World CupEdit
The following four teams from AFC qualified for the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup.
|Team||Qualified on||Previous appearances in FIFA U-17 World Cup 1|
|Japan||30 September 2018||8 (1993, 1995, 2001, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2017)|
|Tajikistan||30 September 2018||1 (2007)|
|Australia||1 October 2018||12 2 (1985, 1987, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1995, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2011, 2015)|
|South Korea||1 October 2018||5 (1987, 2003, 2007, 2009, 2015)|
- 1 Bold indicates champions for that year. Italic indicates hosts for that year.
- 2 Australia qualified as a member of the OFC for ten tournaments between 1985 and 2005.
- Due to weather conditions (heavy rainfall and lightning), both Matchday 3 matches in Group A were postponed from 26 September, 16:30 (and initially pushed to 17:30) to 27 September, 11:00.
- The following venue changes were announced by the AFC on 25 September 2018 due to a request by the football associations of Malaysia and Indonesia in order to accommodate the large number of Indonesian fans:
- The Group C match between Iran v Vietnam was switched from Bukit Jalil National Stadium to UM Arena Stadium.
- The Group C match between India v Indonesia was switched from UM Arena Stadium to Bukit Jalil National Stadium.
- The quarter-final match between Group C winners v Group D runners-up was switched from UM Arena Stadium to Bukit Jalil National Stadium.
- Playing less than the other players scoring 5 goals (with 2 matches), Luqman won the Top Scorer Award
- "AFC Competitions Committee's decisions published". AFC. 25 July 2017.
- "AFC Competitions Calendar 2018". AFC. 11 January 2018.
- "AFC Competitions Calendar 2017" (PDF). AFC. 12 April 2016.
- "Korea Republic seal AFC U-16 Championship 2018 berth". AFC. 29 September 2017.
- "Asia's future stars to shine in Malaysia 2018". AFC. 26 April 2018.
- "Preview: Stars of tomorrow to know their challengers". AFC. 25 April 2018.
- "AFC U-16 Championship 2018 Official Draw". YouTube. 26 April 2018.
- "Regulations AFC U-16 Championship 2018". AFC.
- "Group A Matchday Three matches cancelled, rescheduled to Thursday". AFC. 26 September 2018.
- "Group C Matchday Three venue change". Asian Football Confederation. 25 September 2018.
- "Japan's Nishikawa named MVP". AFC. 7 October 2018.
- "Japan, Tajikistan qualify for Peru 2019". FIFA.com. 30 September 2018.
- "Australia, Korea Republic seal Peru 2019 spots". FIFA.com. 1 October 2018.