Friday, 18 December 2009

Looking back at.....1998 AFC U-17 Championship

Asian Champions....... Thailand

Runners Up................ Qatar

Semi-Finalists............ Bahrain, Korea Republic
Oh, the glory days of Thai footballl in the 90's.

Runners up in the 1996 edition as the hosts, to winners in the 98' edition in the desert of Doha, Qatar.

Two succesive apperances in a FIFA World Cup. Boy, the 90's were the days that Thailand struck fear into Asia, with TFB double winners of the Asian Club Chmpionship and Thailand's youth having succesful campaigns in Youth Championships.

What's happened to these day's? The rest of Asia generally picked up and became more professional, we just sat until now, but can we become top dog again? Let's hope so.

So, to as the title suggested, the 1998 AFC U-17 Championship.

Hosted at the 18,000 capacity Grand Hamad Stadium, more likely known throughout West Asia as the Al Arabi Stadium, and host to Al Arabi Sports Club.

The competition featured 10 teams. Thailand qualified by winning qualification group 9, played in Chonburi and featured Indonesia, Singapore and Brunei, which in this day and age would be your AFF Youth Championship.

Qualification was secured with 25 goals in 3 games, something to be feared and rightly so.

The 1998 championship featured two groups of 5 teams. Top two teams advance to the semi-final stage.

Group Table:

Group Results

Impressive early victories against Iran and Iraq gave the young lads the confidence to battle through to the next round......

Semi's & Final

Bahrain proved to be no match at all for the firing 'War Elephants'. All that stood in the way now, was a rematch with host's Qatar.

Thailand kept their nerve and duly won 3-2 on penalties and were crowned Kings of Asia. All that waited now, was the FIFA Youth Championship world Cup!!

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