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Maulana headlines Indonesia squad for AFC U-19 C’ship
October 12, 2018
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Kuala Lumpur: Poland-based prodigy Egy Maulana is among the 23 players selected in host nation Indonesia’s AFC U-19 Championship squad, while Chinese Taipei have named players born in England and Sweden for their long-awaited return to the Finals.

Maulana, 18, is among the best known players in Indra Sjafri’s squad, having signed for Poland’s Lechia Gdansk amid much fanfare in March after he burst onto the scene during Indonesia’s appearance at the world-renowned Toulon Tournament last summer.

The diminutive Maulana, who netted a tournament-best eight goals at last year’s AFF U-19 Youth Championship, has already appeared three times for Indonesia’s senior national team, making his debut against Brunei last December.

Saddil Ramdani, who celebrated his call-up with a goal in a 2-1 friendly defeat against Saudi Arbia on Wednesday, also has senior international experience, while Mitra Kukar duo Luthfi Kamal and Rafli Mursalim have trained with the national team without earning their first caps at the top level.

Head coach Sjafri revealed his belief that the personnel at his disposal are good enough to challenge for a top four finish, and with it a place at the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland.

“We are optimistic that with this squad the Under-19 national team will be able to achieve their goals in the AFC U-19 Championship,” said the former Bali United boss.

“We have a target to qualify for the U-20 World Cup in 2019, and we can achieve this by qualifying for the semi-finals.”

Meanwhile, Indonesia’s opening day opponents, Chinese Taipei, have revealed their 23-strong cast, as they prepare for their first appearance in the final stage of the competition in 44 years.

The squad features three European-based players; with 17-year-old Crystal Palace midfielder Will Donkin joined by Miguel Sandberg and Karl Josefsson, who are both on the books of Swedish outfit Djurgårdens.

The remaining 20 players all play their football domestically, including Wang Chung-yu (pictured below, centre) who found the back of the net twice in Chinese Taipei’s qualifying campaign to finish as their top scorer.

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