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Tuesday, 30 April 2024 17:08

Momentum for the Revival of Indonesian Football

Written by  Ani Hasanah
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Locals watched the 2024 AFC U-23 Asian Cup semifinal match between Indonesia and Uzbekistan together via a live screen at the home of the parents of the Indonesian national team wing striker, Witan Sulaeman in Palu, Central Sulawesi, on Monday (29/4/2024). (Photo: ANTARA/Basri Marzuki)


The Indonesian national U-23 football team (locally known as Garuda Muda, or "The Young Garuda") wants to fly high, hoping to qualify for the final by beating Uzbekistan in the semifinals of the U-23 Asian Cup, at Abdullah Bin Khalifa Stadium in Doha, Qatar on Monday night (29/4). That is not only the hope of Indonesian football fans, but also the hope of all Indonesians. However, Indonesia had to bury that hope after the Indonesian national U-23 team failed to qualify for the 2024 U-23 Asian Cup final after being defeated by Uzbekistan with a score of 2-0.

Despite losing against Uzbekistan, the struggle of the Indonesian national team at the U-23 Asian Cup deserves to be appreciated. In the quarterfinal round, Indonesia defeated the South Korean team at the Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium last Thursday (25/4). This historic victory is because it was the first time the Garuda Muda team has excelled over South Korea in the U-23 age group.


Of course, this victory aroused the spirit of the national team and the people of Indonesia. Almost all elements of Indonesian society celebrated the euphoria of their national team's win over South Korea. This victory is encouraging because Indonesia can advance to the U-23 Asian Cup Final and qualify for the 2024 Olympics.


Indonesians enjoyed the semi-final match between the Indonesian national team and Uzbekistan on Monday night (29/4) by organizing "nobar", or joint viewing in various places and praying for the Indonesian national team to qualify for the U-23 Asian Cup final.


Football has indeed played an important role in national awakening and strengthening unity. Besides being a popular sport in Indonesia, football has also become a platform to unite people from different backgrounds and regions in Indonesia. The achievements and struggles of the national team in the U-23 Asian Cup also stirred the spirit of nationalism and pride in the Indonesian people.


The Indonesian national team lost and could not attend the U-23 Asian Cup Final. However, the spirit to rise, especially the rise of Indonesian football, must stay strong. This failure is not the end. Instead, this must be used as momentum for the awakening of Indonesian football to achieve better achievements in the future.

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