Association football at the 1956 Summer Olympics
|Dates||November 24 – December 8|
|Champions||Soviet Union (1st title)|
|Goals scored||53 (4.42 per match)|
|Attendance||194,333 (16,194 per match)|
|Top scorer(s)|| Neville D'Souza |
(4 goals each)
Following five withdrawals, the tournament featured three Eastern bloc teams and four from Asia. The other sides included in the draw were from the United States, Germany (West and East united), Great Britain and the hosts Australia, competing in their first Olympic football tournament.
The tendency of Eastern bloc countries to provide state-funding for their athletes put Western amateurs at a significant disadvantage. As a result, all Olympic football tournaments 1952 onwards were dominated by the Soviet Union and its satellites.
|Olympic Park Stadium||Melbourne Cricket Ground|
|Capacity: 40,000||Capacity: 104,000|
Five teams withdrew (Egypt, China, Turkey, South Vietnam, and the football team of Hungary, a nation that was cheered in other Olympic contests due to the ongoing suppression by Soviet troops), which left only three games to play in the first round.
The Great Britain football team eliminated Thailand 9–0, and Australia defeated Japan 2–0.
|Twissell 12' 20'
Lewis 21' (p.k.)
Laybourne 30' 82' 85'
Bromilow 75' 78'
|McMillan 26' (p.k.)
1 Egypt, South Vietnam, and Hungary withdrew.
2 Both teams withdrew; the match was scratched.
3 As five of the original sixteen teams withdrew, the match was postponed to the quarterfinals.
Yugoslavia defeated the United States 9–1.
The Soviets drew their game against Indonesia 0–0 and won 4–0 in the replay.
The Indians defeated Australia 4–2 with a hat trick by centre forward Neville D’Souza – the first by an Asian in the Olympics. Prior to the game there had been debate, once again, as to whether the Indians should be shod. Sir Stanley Rous respected their decision either way, although in the end, the Indians decided to wear boots. The Indonesian referee disallowed two first half goals. Bob Bignall the Australian captain was unable to get an intelligible reply out of him during the break.
|Veselinović 10' 84' 90'
Antić 12' 73'
Mujić 16' 35' 56'
|Soviet Union||0–0 (a.e.t.)||Indonesia|
|Salnikov 17' 59'
Kolev 40' 85'
Milanov 45' 75' 80'
|Morrow 17' 41'||Report||D'Souza 9' 33' 50'
Yugoslavia defeated India 4–1. It would be their third consecutive Olympic final.
The Soviets defeated Bulgaria 2–1. Bulgaria scored first and conceded two goals in the last six minutes of the game.
|Papec 54' 65'
Salam 78' (o.g.)
|Soviet Union||2–1 (a.e.t.)||Bulgaria|
Yugoslavia were playing Red Star Belgrade's Dragoslav Šekularac in this tournament; he would feature in the 1960 UEFA European Football Championship final. They lost 1–0 to a second half Anatoli Ilyin goal.
Bulgaria took Bronze defeating India 3–0.
Bronze Medal match
|Diev 37' 60'
Gold Medal match
|Soviet Union||2 (AET)|
- 4 goals
- 3 goals
- 2 goals
- 1 goal
- Frank Loughran (Australia)
- Graham McMillan (Australia)
- Georgi Dimitrov (Bulgaria)
- Ernst-Günter Habig (Germany)
- Laurie Topp (Great Britain)
- Krishna Kittu (India)
- Anatoli Ilyin (Soviet Union)
- Anatoli Isayev (Soviet Union)
- Valentin Ivanov (Soviet Union)
- Igor Netto (Soviet Union)
- Boris Tatushin (Soviet Union)
- Al Zerhusen (United States)
- Own goals
- Muhamed Abdus Salam (India; playing against Yugoslavia)
- Association football at the 1956 Summer Olympics – Men's team squads
- Association football at the 1956 Summer Olympics – Men's qualification
- Olympic Football Tournament Melbourne 1956 – Top goalscoring players. FIFA.com
- "Football at the 1956 Melbourne Summer Games". Sports Reference. Retrieved 13 October 2018.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2005-11-03. Retrieved 2006-11-03.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- "News .....taken from "The Socceroos and their Opponents" by Laurie Schwab". Australian Online Soccer Museum. Australian Soccer Preservation Society. Archived from the original on 27 August 2006.