Indonesia national football team

Football Association of IndonesiaThe Indonesia national football team was founded in 1930, some fifteen years before the country gained independence.  The team joined FIFA in 1952 and the Asian Football Confederation in 1954.  Until 1945 the team competed as the Dutch East Indies national football team.

Although games played before Indonesia’s independence are not recognised by the country’s football association, the Dutch East Indies had a remarkable early history.  The team’s first game was a 1-0 victory over Singapore in 1921.  This was followed in 1934 by second place in the Far Eastern Games.  The team was also the first from Asian to play at a world cup after qualifying for the 1938 tournament.  A 6-0 defeat to Hungary in the first round remains the country’s only appearance.

Despite never returning to the biggest stage, independent Indonesia has a good record in Asian football.  This was put at risk by difficulties with FIFA in the years between 1958 and 1974.  The new team entered the world cup in time for the 1958 competition and beat China in the opening qualifying game.  The team refused to play the next match against Israel for political reasons and was banned from the world cup until 1974 for various external and internal issues.

During the world cup ban Indonesia recorded a record 12-0 win over the Philippines.  A similar feat occurred in 2002 when the same teams played and Indonesia won 13-1.

The most exciting thing to happen to Indonesia since the world cup ban came in the 1998 Tiger Cup.  The last group match of the tournament saw the team face Thailand when both teams had already qualified for the semi-finals.  The winner of the game would face the much fancied Vietnam whilst the loser would play the lower ranked Singapore.  With the scored tied at 2-2 in extra-time, Indonesian defender Mursyid Effendi scored a deliberate own-goal, despite Thai attempts to stop him.  The player was given a life ban from international football.  In the end, both teams lost their semi-finals and Singapore won the competition.

Ranked 152nd, the Indonesia national football team will begin to move in the right direction with consistent games and less controversy.

World cup 1938

The Indonesia national football team, playing as the Dutch East Indies, became the first Asian team to appear at the world cup finals this year. A 6-0 rout by Hungary saw the team exit in the first round – this being a time before there was a group stage and all games were knock-outs.

World cup 2014

Result Qualifying Round Three

The Indonesia national football team was given a bye past the first round of qualification.  Only the sixteen lowest ranked teams in the confederation competed in this stage.

Entering the second round, the team drew Turkmenistan.  Indonesia drew the away leg 1-1, becoming the only away team in the first leg to avoid defeat.  The return match was an even greater success with Indonesia winning 4-3 and progressing to the third round.

Round three was a group stage and Indonesia were paired against Bahrain, Iran and Qatar.  The team suffered a poor tournament, losing all six games and conceding twenty-six goals in the process.  Indonesia only scored three goals and finished bottom of the group, nine points adrift of the third-placed team.

The Indonesia national football team will be angry with their performance in qualifying.  Though underdogs in their group, the team didn’t even entertain the idea of scoring a point.  A humiliating 10-0 defeat by Bahrain on the last matchday should spur the team to drastically improve.

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