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  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten

April 28, 1968: Lazio Lecco 1-0

Vital points

 

A Massa goal gives Lazio much needed two points




Source Lazio Wiki

The season so far

 

The previous season had been a disaster and Lazio had dropped into Serie B for the second time in their history. Following the World Cup elimination of 1966 by North Korea, the Italian federation had decided to reduce the number of Serie A teams to 16, hence for the 1966-67 season four teams would be relegated. With one game to go, Spal, Vicenza and Lazio had 27 points and Brescia 28. Foggia, Venezia and Lecco had already been arithmetically relegated so there was one place left. Final games: Juventus-Lazio, Brescia-Cagliari, Vicenza-Bologna and Spal-Venezia.

 

At the end of the first half Vicenza and Lazio were 0-0, Spal and Brescia were losing. There was still hope, but in the second half Lazio collapsed and Spal turned the game around. The Biancocelesti were relegated by one point.

 

Maino Neri, who had taken the place of Umberto Mannocchi earlier last season, was not confirmed as manager and in came Renato Gei. New arrivals were goalkeeper Rosario Di Vincenzo (Potenza), Pierluigi Ronzon (Napoli), Piero Cucchi (Varese), Nello Governato back from his loan to Vicenza, Costantino Fava (Treviso) and Giuliano Fortunato (Milan). Leaving Lazio were Piero Dotti and Vito D’Amato, both to Inter, Can Bartu (Fenerbahce), Enrico Burlando (Varese) and Roberto Gori (Livorno). In the Autumn transfer window Carlo Soldo had arrived from Inter.

 

In Coppa Italia Lazio had been eliminated by Reggina in the second round.

 

In Serie B Lazio had not been doing very well. At the end of the first half of the season they were 12th, though only four points away from the promotion zone (there were 17 teams in just eight points). Since then, things had not improved. Gei was sacked in February and the team was handed over to Bob Lovati. The Biancocelesti were 14th, just two points more than the relegation zone. Not the way fans had hoped the season would go.

 

A win today would be vital.

 

Five days before this match President Umberto Lenzini nominated Juan Carlo Lorenzo as technical consultant. He had been Biancoceleste manager from 1962 to 1964. The return of Lorenzo was met with mixed feelings by the fans. Some did not forget his betrayal in 1964 when he decided to sign for Roma despite the fact he had agreed to stay on as Lazio manager.

 

The match: Sunday, April 28, 1968, Stadio Olimpico, Rome

 

Both teams were in trouble and needed vital points to get out of the relegation zone. The Biancocelesti had not won a game for two months and attacked right from the word go. The first half was a Lazio monologue with several chances wasted by the players who were able to take advantage of the many gaps in the Lecco defensive wall but were always off target when finishing. There were a couple of possible hand balls in the box, but the referee was never convinced enough to give Lazio a penalty.

 

In the 46th minute finally light at the end of the tunnel. Lazio started the second half, Giuseppe Massa got the ball and ran towards the penalty box, dribbled past a couple of players and from 20 metres took a shot at goal and scored. At this point Lecco, full of defensive players, were forced to attack and the Biancocelesti could have scored many more goals on the counter attack. In the 64th minute Alberto Mari had a chance but wasted too much time for the shot and Aldo Sensibile managed to anticipate him. Five minutes later, the winger had another opportunity after a Massa-Pietro Adorni one-two, but he again missed this time depositing a shot into the arms of the keeper. Arrigo Dolso then did a box to box only to produce a lame shot comfortably saved by Giuseppe Meraviglia. Three minutes from time Massa did the same and his attempt shaved the post.

 

Fundamental two points for Lazio.

 

Who played for Lazio


Substitutes: Di Vincenzo

Manager: Lovati

 

Who played for Lecco


Meraviglia, Facca, Sensibile, Bacher, Pasinato, Sacchi, Dehò, Azzimonti, Paganini, Del Barba, Innocenti

Substitutes: Pulici

Manager: Longoni

 

Referee: Gonella

 

Goal: 46’ Massa

 

What happened next

 

Lazio finished 11th, ten points away from promotion but only two from relegation. With 12 goalless draws in one season and no victories away from home, promotion was impossible. Seric C was avoided in the last but one game with a 1-0 win against Foggia.

 

The player with the most appearances was Pierluigi Ronzon with 42, and top scorer Fortunato with a mere 5 goals.


Lazio 1967-68

Competition

Played

Won

Drawn

Lost

Goals scored

Serie B

40

10

18

12

33

Coppa Italia

2

1

-

1

1

Total

42

11

18

13

34

Top five appearances

Player

Total

Serie B

Coppa Italia

Ronzon

42

40

2

Fortunato

36

34

2

Gioia

36

34

2

Zanetti

31

31

-

Governato

31

30

1

Top Goal Scorers

Player

Serie B

Fortunato

5

Morrone

4

Massa

3

Let's talk about Pierluigi Ronzon


Pierluigi Ronzon first from right standing. Source Wikipedia

Pierluigi Ronzon was born on March 7, 1934, in Gemona del Friuli near Udine. He started his career with Sampdoria where he played from 1952 to 1957 with 82 league appearances and 22 goals, all in Serie A.

 

In 1957 he moved to Bergamo to play for Atalanta. In the first year they were relegated to Serie B but he then made a good contribution to the Bergamaschi’s immediate return to the top tier. He stayed one more year before signing for Milan but after a year he went further south to Naples. For Napoli he played from 1961 to 1967 with two promotions to Serie A but also two relegations. In his time in Naples, he won a Coppa Italia in 1962 and a Cup of the Alps in 1966.

 

His final year of active football was with Lazio in 1967-68 in Serie B. He made 42 appearances for the Romans but was unable to steer them back to the top tier.

 

He was a good midfield player, elegant, dynamic and with great vision. As he got older, he retreated towards the defence and with the Biancocelesti he was a libero.

 

He even played one match for Italy against Spain on May 13 1960.

 

He made a total of 253 league appearances in Serie A and scored 31 goals plus 187 and 12 goals in Serie B.


Lazio Career

Season

Total games

Serie B

Coppa Italia

1967-68

42

40

2

Sources





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