Sun, Jun 10, 2018 - Page 8 News List

Taiwan in Time: Taiwan’s ‘Magic Feet’

Despite the sport’s dismal status today, Taiwan enjoyed two stretches of soccer greatness, first with its Hong Kong player-dominated men’s team in the 1950s followed by the Mulan women’s team in the 1970s and 1980s

By Han Cheung  /  Staff reporter

As the team prepared for the AFC tournament in 1981, Sports World (體育世界) magazine ran a long feature on the team, introducing every player and quoting coach Kao Yung (高庸) as saying, “We should have no problem defending our championship.”

Chou performed brilliantly, scoring 10 goals — more than half the team’s total — as team Mulan beat Thailand for its third straight gold medal. Chou was nominated for Sports World’s female athlete of the year, naming her “Goddess Legs” (女神腿) and “Magic Feet” (魔腳).

The team’s run in the AFC was interrupted when China joined the confederation and Taiwan’s team applied to transfer to the Oceania Football Confederation, picking up where they left off by winning it all in 1986 and 1989.

Along with the name Mulan, this miraculous team’s success also came to an end with its return to the AFC as Chinese Taipei in 1989. Although it hovered between second and fourth place until 1999, it won no more championships, and Taiwan’s status as a soccer power was no more.

Taiwan in Time, a column about Taiwan’s history that is published every Sunday, spotlights important or interesting events around the nation that have anniversaries this week.

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