< Soviet Union

The Soviet Union had travelled to Seoul with a squad of 20 consisting predominantly of players from a level behind their very best. The only player considered to be of first team starting material was midfield general Mikhailichenko. He had played a major part in the USSR’ plight to reach the final of the European Championships earlier in the summer, and he was also the only Dinamo Kiev player in their pool. No less than eleven players were based with Moscow clubs, and the age range spanned from 20 (promising goalkeeper Kharin) to 29 (Dinamo Moscow full-back Losev). Two players would get their first cap at full international level later in 1988: Kharin and forward Savichev. Two players, Mikhailichenko apart, who had already made their bow at the ultimate level, were said Losev and exciting 21 year old striker Dobrovolski, team mates from Dinamo in Moscow. The latter would finish the Olympic tournament as the second highest goalscorer, only behind Brazil’s Romário.

The USSR started with a scoreless draw against the host nation, but would from then on win all of their subsequent matches, culminating in a dramatic extra time win against the fancied Brazilians in the final, where Savichev would score the winner. Mikhailichenko had far from travelled to Seoul just to make up the numbers, and the Kiev ace notched five times from six appearances, one goal shy of Dobrovolski. Combined, the duo scored eleven of the USSR’s 14 goals in the tournament.

Managing the Soviet Union Olympic select was 42 year old Anatoly Byshovets, who had previously been an understudy of Lobanovsky’s at Dinamo Kiev. He would go on to coach Dinamo Moscow after the success at the Olympics.

The Soviet Union’s results in Seoul:

Group C:
South Korea: 0-0
Argentina: 2-1 (Dobrovolski, Mikhailichenko)
United States: 4-2 (Mikhailichenko 2, Narbekovas, Dobrovolski (pen.))

Australia: 3-0 (Dobrovolski 2 (2 pens.), Mikhailichenko)

Italy: 3-2 after extra time (Dobrovolski, Narbekovas, Mikhailichenko)

Brazil: 2-1 after extra time (Dobrovolski (pen.), Savichev)

List of players:
1 Dmitry Kharin, Torpedo Moskva (20), goalkeeper
2 Gela Ketashvili, Dinamo Tbilisi (22), defender
3 Igor Sklyarov, Dinamo Moskva (22), defender
4 Aleksey Cherednik, Dnepr Dnepropetrovsk (28), defender
5 Arvydas Janonis, Žalgiris Vilnius (27), defender
6 Vadim Tyshshenko, Dnepr Dnepropetrovsk (25), midfielder
7 Yevgeny Kuznetsov, Spartak Moskva (27), midfielder
8 Igor Ponomarev, Neftchi Baku (28), midfielder
9 Aleksandr Borodyuk, Dinamo Moskva (25), midfielder/forward
10 Igor Dobrovolsky, Dinamo Moskva (21), forward
11 Vladimir Lyuty, Dnepr Dnepropetrovsk (26), forward
12 Yevgeny Yarovenko, Kairat Almaty (26), defender
13 Sergey Fokin, CSKA Moskva (27), defender
14 Vladimir Tatarchuk, CSKA Moskva (22), midfielder
15 Aleksey Mikhailichenko, Dinamo Kiev (25), midfielder
16 Aleksey Prudnikov, Torpedo Moskva (28), goalkeeper
17 Viktor Losev, Dinamo Moskva (29), defender
18 Sergey Gorlukovich, Lokomotiv Moskva (26), defender
19 Yuri Savichev, Torpedo Moskva (23), forward
20 Arminas Narbekovas, Žalgiris Vilnius (23), midfielder