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Shin Tae-yong doesn't even know, this is the progress of the Indonesian National Football Team at the 1956 Olympics

Jakarta, – One step further, Indonesia can send its representatives in the soccer branch to the Olympics which will be held in Paris this year. Indonesia has the opportunity to repeat history at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, which will be the first and only participation of the Indonesian football team in the world's oldest sporting event.

Not many people know about the progress of the Indonesian football team at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics. In fact, the coach of the U-23 Indonesian National Team (Timnas), Shin Tae-yong, admitted that he had just learned that Indonesia had qualified its football team for the Olympics.


“I apologize because I actually don't know about Indonesia's participation in the previous Olympics. I heard that the last time they played in the Olympics was in Melbourne, 68 years ago,” said Shin Tae-yong in a press conference before the semifinal against Uzbekistan some time ago.

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Quoting from various sources, Indonesia succeeded in sending its representatives to the 1956 Olympics, after winning WO in the Asian zone qualifying round over the Republic of China or Taiwan. Taiwan withdrew from qualifying after the organizing committee decided they should play under the FIFA flag, as Taiwanese flags are prohibited.

Passing the qualifying phase, Indonesia got bye in the first round, so they immediately qualified for the quarter-finals against the Soviet Union, which in the previous round won 2-1 over Germany.

At that time, Indonesia was strengthened by several legendary players, such as Maulwi Saelan, Endang Witarsa, and Andi Ramang. Indonesia was coached by Antun Pogacnik from Yugoslavia, who is considered one of the founders of modern football in the country.


Meanwhile, the Soviet Union was strengthened by top European players at that time, such as Sergei Salnikov, Anatoli Isayev, and of course the legendary goalkeeper Lev Yashin.

The match between Indonesia and the Soviet Union took place at the Olympic Park Stadium, Melbourne, 29 November 1956. Incredibly, Indonesia managed to hold the Soviet Union to a 0-0 draw, until extra time.

In an article published by FIFA in 2012 entitled “Indonesians Who inspired '50s Meridian”, Ramang's greatness was told in being able to trouble the Soviet Union's defense. In fact, at that time Ramang was said to have almost faced the Black Spider, Lev Yashin's nickname, to the point that his shirt had to be pulled off by an opposing player.

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At that time, there was no penalty shootout system in place if the match was still tied until extra time. As a result, Indonesia had to undergo a rematch against the Soviet Union at the same place, two days later. Indonesia surrendered 0-4, through goals from Sergei Salnikov (two goals), Valentin Ivanov and Igor Netto.


The Soviet Union itself finally managed to bring home a gold medal, after beating Bulgaria in the semifinals and Yugoslavia in the final. Meanwhile, Lev Yashin himself is remembered as one of the best goalkeepers in history. Yashin's name was also immortalized as the winner of the Ballon d'Or award for best goalkeeper.

Indonesia's success in holding the Soviet Union to a draw is one of the stories, which seems to be a fairy tale told from generation to generation by Indonesian football fans. This is the same as the legendary story of Indonesia (still called the Dutch East Indies) which became the first Asian team to take part in the World Cup, precisely in the 1938 edition in France.

Now, Marselino Ferdinan et al have the opportunity to repeat sweet history to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics. If they are able to beat Iraq U-23 in the race for third place in the 2024 U-23 Asian Cup, Thursday (2/5/2024), the Indonesian U-23 National Team will automatically qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics as a representative from Asia.

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The opportunity to qualify for the 2024 Olympics is also still open if Indonesia loses to Iraq, provided they are able to win the play-off round with representatives of the African zone, Guinea, next May 9. Will Young Garuda have its own sweet story?


Shin Tae-yong doesn't even know, this is the progress of the Indonesian National Football Team at the 1956 Olympics

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