Malaysia started their 2018 AFC U-16 Championship campaign with a bang as they thrashed Tajikistan 6-2 at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium on Thursday.

Luqman Hakim Shamsudin bagged four goals for the hosts with Najmuddin Akmal Kamal Akmal and Alif Mutalib scoring from the penalty spot each.

Sharifbek Rahmatov and Isroil Kholov grabbed the consolation goals for Tajikistan.

The result, however, was dampened by goalkeeper Sikh Izhan Nazrel receiving a red card for a high challenge inside the penalty area in the dying minutes, which led to Tajikistan's second goal.

Despite that, the big win should give confidence to Lim Teong Kim's boys to face 2018 AFF U-16 Championship runners-up Thailand in their second Group A match on September 23.

The four semi-finalists of the AFC U-16 Championship will qualify for next year's FIFA U-17 World Cup in Peru.

(Picture: AFC)