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Olympics: India's painful tale of fourth place finishes

CONTRIBUTOR
Top 5 / Top 10
14 Jun 2016, 00:35 IST

#2 Indian Men’s Football Team in Melbourne, Australia, 1956

Indian football team 1956
Indian football team of 1956

Interestingly our men’s football team made to the semifinals in Melbourne Olympics. Inida beat Australia 4-2 in quarterfinals as Neville D’Souza became the first Asian player to score a hat-trick in an Olympic Games scoring three of the four Indian goals. In fact, D’Souza was almost there in giving Indian the lead in a goalless first half in the semifinal against Yugoslavia but in the second half Yugoslavs proved too strong and India went down 1- 4 when the final whistle blew.

D’Souza scored the lone goal for India in the 52nd minute, to give India a 1-0 lead, but then thye crumble.

"We defeated Australia 4-2 in the quarter-finals. Neville scored a hat-trick in that match. We went down 1-4 to Yugoslavia (in semifinals) despite Neville giving us the lead,” team member PK Banerjee once said, recollecting Indian football`s finest hour. Bulgaria beat us 3-0 in the bronze medal classification match. The team consisted of all time Indian football greats like PK Banerjee, Neville D’Souza and Balaram.  D’Souza also became the joint top scorer with Todor Veselinovi of Yugoslavia and Dimitar Milanov of Bulgaria, all of them scored 4 goals.

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