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  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten

April 8, 1979: Lazio Catanzaro 3-1

Updated: Apr 8

Attacking trio demolishes Catanzaro


Giordano, D’Amico and Garlaschelli are too much for Palanca’s Catanzaro.




Ticket owned by Dag Jenkins, photo by Dag Jenkins

The season so far


The summer transfer window had seen Lazio very cautious. Not much money was available so Lazio did not do much. Lionello Manfredonia and Andrea Agostinelli refused to leave as did Vincenzo D‘Amico. The three players chosen by previous manager Luis Vinicio, Luigi Boccolini, Claudio Garella and Sergio Clerici changed jerseys. In goal it looked like scudetto hero Felice Pulici was going to come back but the deal fell through. Lazio’s new goalkeeper would be Massimo Cacciatori. New arrivals included Aldo Nicoli and Aldo Cantarutti plus Nando Viola who returned from a loan spell at Bologna.


In Coppa Italia Lazio topped their Group and reached the quarterfinals after beating Vicenza at home in a decisive match. They had to play Palermo and in the first leg they had drawn 0-0 away.


The Serie A campaign began quite well with a draw against champions Juventus and a win away from home at Avellino. At the end of the first half Lazio were sixth with a UEFA Cup qualification still very possible. But they were not playing well. Before the game against Fiorentina, Lazio had not won at home for two months. They won that game but continued to do poorly away from home.


On March 18 Lazio won the derby with a last minute Nicoli goal, but in the game before today they had crumbled in the final minutes at Verona.


Lazio needed to beat Catanzaro to keep the European hopes alive.


The match: Sunday, April 8, 1979, Stadio Olimpico, Rome


Bob Lovati was finally able to play Renzo Garlaschelli, who had been absent due to injury for the past four months, and the team benefitted from this enormously.


But it was Catanzaro who started better. In the 7th minute Renzo Rossi, former Lazio player, missed a golden opportunity after a cross by Enrico Nicolini. In the 13th minute Bruno Giordano from the right sent a great cross for Garlaschelli who, however, was unable to make any contact. Six minutes later Giordano had a difficult chance following a shot deflected by a Catanzaro defender, but his shot went wide. In the 29th minute Cacciatori punched out a dangerous Massimo Palanca free kick.


In the 40th minute Lazio scored. Perfect free kick from Vincenzo D’Amico and 1-0 for Lazio.


The second half opened with a free kick for Catanzaro. Palanca, always dangerous on free kicks and corners, bent it like Beckam and equalised. The draw however only lasted two minutes. Giordano took a free kick from the right; the ball was cleared by the Catanzaro defence but picked up outside the box by Ciccio Cordova. His powerful shot was saved by Massimo Mattolini but Bruno-gol was quick to volley the ball in. Lazio ahead again.


Lazio had two goals disallowed for offside and Catanzaro went close to equalising several times. First D’Amico managed to clear a Giuseppe Sabbadini shot on the line, then in the 79th minute an Adriano Banelli header was saved by Cacciatori. Three minutes later the Lazio goalkeeper repeated himself on a Banelli shot and a Rossi attempted tap in.


In the 85th minute Lazio closed the match. Luigi Martini on the left to Giordano who let the ball pass to Garlaschelli. The Lazio scudetto hero dribbled past Leonardo Menichini and scored. 3-1 for Lazio. Game over.


Who played for Lazio


Substitutes: Fantini, Agostinelli, Cantarutti

Manager: Lovati


Who played for Catanzaro


Mattolini, Sabadini, Ranieri, Menichini, Groppi, Zanini, Nicolini, Orazi, Rossi, Braglia (63' Banelli), Palanca.

Substitutes: Casari, Turone.

Manager: Mazzone.


Referee: Mascia


Goals: 40’ D’Amico, 47’ Palanca, 49’ Giordano, 85’ Garlaschelli



What happened next


At the end of the season Lazio finished 8th, better than the previous, but not all that great. Just two points in the last five games meant that UEFA Cup qualification became impossible, which was a pity, since Napoli, who came 6th, were only three points away. In Coppa Italia they were unable to score against Palermo and lost the quarterfinal after a penalty shootout.


Giordano was top scorer in Serie A with 19 goals (21 for the whole season) and, together with Cacciatori, the player with most appearances (36).


Lazio 1978-79

Competition

Played

Won

Lost

Drawn

Goals scored

Serie A

30

9

11

10

35

Coppa Italia

6

2

4

-

3

Total

36

11

15

10

38

Top five appearances

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Cacciatori

36

30

6

Giordano

36

30

6

Cordova

34

28

6

Manfredonia

34

28

6

Wilson

33

29

4

Top goal scorers

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Giordano

21

19

2


5

5

-

Wilson

2

2

-

D'Amico

2

2

-


Let's talk about Franco Cordova


Source Lazio Wiki

Franco “Ciccio” Cordova was a very controversial figure in Rome. As captain of Roma he did the unthinkable: he joined Lazio.


Born in Forlì on June 21, 1944, he started playing football for Flegrea, later to be bought by Internapoli (the team that Giorgio Chinaglia and Pino Wilson played for before joining Lazio). His professional debut came with Salernitana in Serie C in 1962. He then moved to Catania in Serie A but in two years played very little. However he became a player of interest for Inter who were looking to find an eventual replacement for Mario Corso and signed for the nerazzurri for the 1965-66 season. He played just one game for Inter and in the following he was loaned to Brescia in Serie B.


After a year in Lombardy he signed for Roma and it was with the giallorossi that he found his ideal home. In 1970 he married the President Alvaro Marchini's daughter.


Marchini in the summer of 1970 decided to sell Roma’s best young players, Fabio Capello, Luciano Spinosi and Fausto Landini, to Juventus in exchange for a bunch of old timers. The fans were not impressed and for the entire 1970-71 season demanded his resignation. Despite arriving sixth that season, the best result of his three-year presidency, Marchini was forced to sell the club to Gaetano Anzalone.


Cordova in 1972 became captain and was one of the more popular players, but he was linked to the past president and never got on with the new one. After a disappointing 1975-76 season, Anzalone decided to get rid of the old players and start from scratch with a new, younger and more motivated team. Cordova was up for sale after 285 games for the giallorossi in nine years. Anzalone sold him to Verona without saying anything to the player during the negotiations. Ciccio, heartbroken, felt betrayed by the club he supported and broke his contract with Rome becoming a free agent.


Nobody was interested in signing him and he risked having to quit football at 32. He really wanted to stay in Rome, so when Lazio knocked on his door, he took the opportunity and signed for the Biancocelesti. With this move he continued to play football, in the city he loved, and could be a thorn in Anzalone’s side. Perfect.


Lazio had been looking for a playmaker ever since they disastrously sold Mario Frustalupi and Cordova was their ideal player. Not everybody at Lazio was overjoyed, especially Luciano Re Cecconi, but the fans accepted him immediately and he played three years for the Biancocelesti. He found it hard in the beginning, and legend has it that he was not really sure whether to play his first game or not. But he did.


At Lazio he played for three years, with 85 appearances in Serie A and two goals, 14 in Coppa Italia (1 goal), 3 in the UEFA Cup and five in the Intertoto Cup. He showed all his quality and was good technically even if inconsistent.


In 1979-80 he signed for Avellino but only played a handful of games. He was suspended for a year and two months following the match fixing scandal of the 1980s.


He played twice for the Nazionale in 1975 in the Euro 1976 qualifying games against Poland and Finland.


Ciccio Cordova has always been a Roma supporter but at Lazio everybody appreciated his professionalism.


Lazio career

Season

Total appearances (goals)

Serie A

Coppa Italia

UEFA Cup

Intertoto Cup

1976-77

34 (3)

30 (2)

4 (1)

-

-

1977-78

39

27

4

3

5

1978-79

34

28

6

-

-

Total

107 (3)

85 (2)

14 (1)

3

5

Sources


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