Host City: Roma, Italy
Venue(s): Adriatic Stadium, Pescara; Ardenza Stadium, Livorno; Flaminio Stadium, Roma; Fuorigrotta Stadium, Napoli; Municipal Olympic Stadium, Grosseto; Municipal Stadium, L'Aquila; Municipal Stadium, Firenze
Date Started: August 26, 1960
Date Finished: September 10, 1960
Format: Round-robin pools advance teams to Classification Round matches.
For the first time in history, the Olympic football tournament was conducted with a preliminary round featuring round-robin pools. Hungary were the pre-tournament favourites, and they survived the group stage with ease. But the 1952 champions were halted by the surprising Danish amateur side. Denmark was playing with a depleted squad and heavy hearts, as eight Danish footballers had died in a plane crash shortly before the 1960 Olympic tournament, but in an exciting semi-final, where both sides missed a penalty kick, Denmark came out the deserved winner with 2-0. The other semi-final was a much closer affair. The home team, Italy, was paired with Yugoslavia. The Italians had kicked out Brazil in the first round, while Yugoslavia had held off Bulgaria only on goal difference after a 3-3 tie. Italy, which featured future star Gianni Rivera and Giovanni Trapattoni, later a successful manager, was cheered on by an ecstatic home crowd in Naples. But after 120 minutes of play, both teams were still tied. In earlier Olympics, such draws would be resolved by a replay, but this method was found to be unsatisfactory in the busy Olympic programme. The present-day tie-breaker of taking penalties was not yet in use either, and the winner was determined by lot. Yugoslavia won this draw, and progressed to their fourth consecutive Olympic final.
In the decider, Yugoslavia got off to an excellent start and took a 2-0 lead. Shortly before half-time, a third goal was scored by Kostić. Although the linesman had not signalled for offside, the Italian referee annulled the goal, much to the anger of the Yugoslav captain, Milan Galić . His uncontrolled response to the referee resulted in an expulsion, leaving his team short-handed for the rest of the match. But Yugoslavia held on for their first Olympic gold medal, while Denmark took its third Olympic silver.
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