There was drama for Liverpool U18s on Saturday as the young Reds got their Frenz International Cup campaign underway with a whirlwind 6-5 victory over local side Frenz United Indonesia.
Neil Critchley's team had arrived for the prestigious tournament just 16 hours prior to kick-off at the Gelora Sriwijaya Stadium - and they were hit with an early onslaught from the home side, who raced into a 2-0 lead.
Reza Karimi and Yugan Poobathy both netted within 18 minutes of play; however, moments after the latter doubled Frenz's lead, Liverpool's Callum Nicholas weighed in to halve the deficit.
The Indonesian side's advantage was restored when Reza struck again - and Frenz looked comfortable until the final seconds of the first half, when Harry Wilson hauled Critchley's charges back into the contest.
If Frenz flew out of the blocks at the start of the game, the Reds were ruthless during the opening exchanges of the second half as Toni Gomes and Adam Phillips pounced to propel the youngsters into a 4-3 lead.
But there was much more drama ahead in the tie. Bayu Firmansya levelled the scores before Riswan Yuswan fired the home team into the lead with little more than a quarter of the game remaining.
Staring defeat in the face in their opening encounter of the competition, Critchley's charges summoned enough strength to turn the game on its head for a final time.
First, Welsh winger Wilson levelled proceedings at 5-5 to set up a dramatic finale. Gomes then struck the winner to wrap-up a breath-taking victory in the searing Jakabaring heat.
"It was an unbelievable game of football," Critchley told Liverpoolfc.com. "I don't know where to start in terms of analysing that game. I'd be here until next Saturday, I think.
"We only arrived here yesterday, so the players had to adapt very quickly, as well as adjust to the intense heat. It was tough out there and we showed a lot of personality and character to grind out the result.
"Our performance wasn't the best, but we got a great result. We'll draw a line under it and move on quickly to the second game."
Next up for the Reds is a meeting with Guangzhou Evergrande of China on Monday before their final group game against Feyenoord on Wednesday. The two aforementioned sides met today, with the Dutch team running out 5-1 winners.
Liverpool U18s: Ben Jackson, Lewis Travis, Tom Brewitt, Corey Whelan, George Johnston, Adam Phillips, Wade Maxwell, Madger Gomes, Harry Wilson, Toni Gomes, Callum Nicholas.