The 2018 AFC U-19 Championship was the 40th edition of the biennial international youth football championship organised by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) for the men's under-19 national teams of Asia. It took place in Indonesia, which was appointed as the host by the AFC on 25 July 2017, between 18 October and 4 November 2018. A total of 16 teams played in the tournament.
Qualification matches were played between 24 October and 8 November 2017.
Although Indonesia had already qualified automatically as hosts, they also participated in the qualifiers and finished third place after going down 0–3 and 1–4 loss to South Korea and Malaysia sides respectively.
The 2018 qualifiers also witnessed a unique situation where two teams had to go to penalties to determine the higher-position team. It happened in Group C after Qatar and Iraq were tied in all tie-breaking criteria and both of them played among each other in the last match. Qatar won the penalties and finished top of the group while Iraq finished second.
Twelve out of 2018 qualified sixteen teams played in the 2016 finals.
The draw was held on 18 May 2018, 15:00 WIB (UTC+7), at the Fairmont Hotel in Jakarta. The 16 teams were drawn into four groups of four teams. The teams were seeded according to their performance in the 2016 AFC U-19 Championship final tournament and qualification, with the hosts Indonesia automatically seeded and assigned to Position A1 in the draw.
Players born on or after 1 January 1999 were eligible to compete in the tournament. Each team must 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 tie-breaking criteria were applied, in the order given, to determine the rankings:
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 were 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);