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  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten

August 24, 1977: Lazio Monza 2-1 Coppa Italia

Updated: Oct 16, 2023

A lot of room for improvement


Not a great Lazio in the first game of the season at the Olimpico



Source SS Lazio Museum

The season so far


The previous season Lazio had done very well arriving fifth and obtaining a UEFA Cup qualification thanks to youngsters Bruno Giordano, Lionello Manfredonia and Andrea Agostinelli managed by Luis Vinicio.


There was a lot of expectation this year and it was hoped that the team could repeat itself. There was not a lot of money hence the transfers were limited to the signing of Sergio Clerici from Bologna and Luigi Boccolini from Catanzaro. Fernando Viola was loaned to Bologna and Maurizio Montesi to Avellino whilst Renzo Rossi signed for Catanzaro.


The season started with the Coppa Italia. The Biancocelesti were in Group 2 with Bologna, Monza, Varese and Ternana.


Lazio had had a false start. They lost their first Coppa Italia match against Serie B team Varese. It had been a dismal performance. Perhaps part of the problem had been the negotiations over the players' prize money for the UEFA Cup qualification. The team wanted 80 million lire, the club offered 20. But this was no excuse.


After the first two games, Monza and Varese had two points, Lazio and Ternana zero with Bologna yet to play. Lazio needed to win if they wanted to continue.


The match: Wednesday, August 24, 1977, Stadio Olimpico, Rome


Lazio started very well and after just one minute Roberto Incontri had to parry a powerful shot by Luigi Martini into corner. In the 8th minute Monza replied with a Eugenio Gamba attempt saved by Felice Pulici. The game then went quiet. The Biancocelesti had a number of problems in creating chances and Monza were too sterile up front to counter attack.


Suddenly in the 34th minute Lazio scored. Gamba fouled Francesco Cordova in the box and the referee gave the penalty. Andrea Agostinelli scored the spot kick.


Nine minutes later Monza equalised. Free kick, Franco Cerilli to Aldo Cantarutti, massive shot that Pulici could not do anything about. Lazio Monza 1-1.


The Biancocelesti were in total confusion, with the forwards Bruno Giordano and Sergio Clerici completely absent. Things did not change in the second half but in the 51st minute an innocuous cross from Roberto Badiani was mistakenly hammered into his own goal by Angelo Anquilletti in an attempt to clear. Lazio ahead with no merit.


Monza had a chance to equalise in the 56th minute with Paolo Beruatto but his shot was deflected into corner by a Lazio defender. In the 62nd minute Agostinelli had a chance to make 3-1 from a very favourable position but his shot was too high. The blond Lazio midfielder together with Antonio Lopez tried to liven his team mates up but to no avail. Monza attacked for the rest of the game but were unlucky.


Lazio won but Luis Vinicio had a lot of work to do.


Who played for Lazio


Substitutes: Garella, Pighin, Boccolini, Garlaschelli

Manager: Vinicio


Who played for Monza


Incontri, G.Vincenzi, Gamba, Beruatto, Lanzi, Anquilletti, Cerilli (59' Sanseverino), Scaini, Silva, Bracchi (77' Blangero), Cantarutti.

Substitutes: Conconi, Bertocchi, Zandonà.

Manager: Magni.


Referee: Schena


Goals: 34’ Agostinelli (pen), 43’ Cantarutti, 51’ Anquilletti (og)


What happened next


In the next Coppa Italia match Lazio lost at Bologna and were virtually out. The win against Ternana in their final game could have allowed them to top their group but only thanks to a series of lucky circumstances which did not occur since Monza beat Bologna in their final match and came top.


Lazio did not start exceptionally well in Serie A either, but on October 2 came probably one of the best victories in Lazio history. Lazio Juventus finished 3-0 for the Biancocelesti. A triumph. But the rest of the season was pretty dismal. Where was the team that had played so well last season? If one asked a fan at that time he/she would have probably said it was all Claudio Garella’s fault. Garella was the keeper chosen to substitute fan favourite and Lazio hero Felice Pulici. The new goalkeeper, who would later win the scudetto both with Verona and Napoli, had slippery hands, was very young and prone to making mistakes, but Vinicio thought very highly of him. Pulici was sold to Monza in the autumn transfer session. (Luigi Polentes also left in this transfer window, he was sold to Modena).


But the truth was that the players had probably had enough of the Brazilian manager and the chaos in the changing rooms was obvious looking at the performances on the pitch.


In the UEFA Cup Lazio eliminated Boavista in the first round but were knocked out by Lens in the second.


After having beaten Milan in January, Lazio earned only two points in the subsequent 5 games. Not good. Lazio then beat Inter but four games and one point later Vinicio was sacked. The Biancocelesti were in a dangerous position and there was the need for somebody to pick the team up, regroup, and sail them to safer harbours. That man was Bob Lovati and despite losing the first match to Napoli, Lazio managed to win three games and get out of trouble.


At the end of May Lazio played the Intertoto Cup in a group made up of Nantes, Sparta Rotterdam and Beerschot. Lazio came second in their group on goal difference.


The Intertoto was a football competition that ran from 1961 until 2008. The idea was to create a sort of European League which could allow minor teams that had not won any national trophy or were not playing the Inter City Fairs Cup to play European games. It was managed by a Swiss betting company until 1995 when UEFA took over. Initially there was a single champion, but from 1967 the competition ended with group winners receiving cash prizes. From 1995 it became a UEFA CUP pre-qualification for teams that had not qualified.


Giuseppe Wilson was the player with more appearances in the season (38), Giordano the top goal scorer (19).


Lazio 1977-78

Competition

Played

Won

Drawn

Lost

Goals scored

Serie A

30

8

10

12

31

Coppa Italia

4

2

-

2

7

UEFA Cup

4

2

-

2

7

Intertoto Cup

6

4

1

1

13

Total

44

16

11

17

58

Top five appearancs

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Uefa Cup

Intertoto Cup

Agostinelli

42

29

4

4

5

Giordano

42

29

3

4

6

Garella

41

29

2

4

6

Lopez

41

28

3

4

6

Cordova

39

27

4

3

5

Badiani

39

25

4

4

6

Top goal scorers

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Uefa Cup

Intertoto Cup

Giordano

27

12

3

4

8

Garlaschelli

12

7

-

2

3

D'Amico

3

2

1

-

-

Let's talk about Aldo Cantarutti


Aldo Cantarutti is second from right standinig. Source Wikipedia

Aldo Cantarutti was born in Marzano, near Udine, on January 17, 1958. He started his career in the youth teams of Torino and worked his way up and debuted in Serie A on April 10, 1977 in the game won 3-1 against Catanzaro. At this point the Granata sent him on loan to Monza in Serie B. He did reasonably well playing as left-winger and even scored in Coppa Italia against Lazio.


He impressed the Biancocelesti so much that in the 1978-79 season he signed for them. A mediocre season for Lazio and despite Renzo Garlaschelli suffering an injury which took him out of the squad for some time, Cantarutti only managed 9 league games with one goal against Inter. At the end of the season Lazio sold him to Pisa in Serie B.


He played a couple of seasons for the Nerazzurri as centre-forward and in his second year he was Pisa’s top scorer with 12 goals. In 1981-82 he signed for Catania, again in Serie B. In his first year he scored 10 goals and in his second, thanks also to his 11 League goals, he contributed to a historic promotion to Serie A. Top tier football did not last long as Catania stayed just one year, winning only one game and collecting 12 points. Cantarutti was top scorer for the team but with just 4 goals.


In 1984-85 he played for Ascoli, still in Serie A but another relegation. In 1985 he signed for Atalanta and was top scorer. The next year he got seriously injured and missed most of the season. The Bergamaschi were relegated but the purgatory of Serie B lasted just one year. Cantarutti played well and helped his attacking companion Oliviero Garlini score 17 league goals.


He started the 1988-89 season with Brescia but in the autumn transfer window he was sold to Vicenza in Serie C1. He played there for two years before quitting active football.


At national level he has a cap with the Under 21’s and also played a Under 20's World Cup.


Once he stopped playing he became a scout, in charge of the technical departments. He has worked with Atalanta, Valencia, Lecce, Celta Vigo and Vicenza.


With Lazio he appeared in 12 matches (9 in Serie A and 3 in Coppa Italia) with one goal.


Lazio Career

Season

Total Appearances (goals)

Serie A

Coppa Italia

1978-79

12 (1)

9 (1)

3

Sources


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