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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

Facco defies "Etna" factor to give Lazio win

Updated: Apr 30

Game 31, Serie B

Sunday, May 11, 1969

Stadio Cibali, Catania

Catania Lazio 0-1

Lazio inflict a first home defeat on Catania and fly towards promotion

Source Lazio Wiki

A sunny and warm day with strong winds, an unbeaten home side who had already won against other promotion hopefuls, a raucous home crowd and a pitch similar to a potato field welcomed Lazio to Catania and the infamous Cibali. It would not be easy…

The early stages of the game were balanced with a corner each. Lazio had the first chance but a Ferruccio Mazzola shot was saved by Rino Rado. In the 16th minute Lazio keeper Rosario Di Vincenzo was safe on a powerful effort by Angelo Pereni. On the half hour mark Giancarlo Morrone was denied by a Mauro Vaiani last ditch tackle. The last fifteen minutes saw the "Elephants" charge forward dangerously and the Lazio defence almost capitulated. As in the 38th minute when, with Di Vincenzo beaten, Pierino Cucchi cleared off the line. Lazio relieved the pressure with Morrone but his solo initiative and shot went high. Half time Catania 0 Lazio 0.

A hard fought 45 minutes which had seen Lazio dig deep at times but had come out unscathed, so far so good.

The second half started with Lazio looking more confident. In the 49th minute Mazzola had a lob go out for a corner. On the subsequent cross a header by Mario Facco broke the deadlock and put Lazio in front. The Milanese full-back had already scored in the home game against Catania so could probably never visit the city for sightseeing again. Anyway, more importantly, Catania 0 Lazio 1.

The Lazio goal only made Catania attack even more ferociously. The "Etnei" had big chances with Angelo Volpato and Umberto Strucchi and then Giorgio Girol hit the crossbar with a free kick. Lazio occasionally tried to strike on the break and Giuliano Fortunato had a shot parried and then blocked by Rado.

Catania attacked, attacked and attacked again. There were several scrambles in the area and a concentrated Di Vincenzo somehow kept the home side at bay. Lazio then had a colossal opportunity to close the game on the break. An excellent move by Morrone gave Cucchi an easy chance but he managed to miss.

So back to the trenches for Lazio in the last ten minutes. A Gian Piero Ghio blunder almost handed Gianfranco Trombini and the home side an equaliser and then Di Vincenzo denied Vaiani twice in the dying minutes. Lazio ended the game with knives between their teeth but Di Tonno finally blew up for full-time. Catania 0 Lazio 1.

A vital and possibly decisive win for Lazio and their promotion hopes. Lazio had won where no team had done before while Brescia had lost 2-0 at Perugia so the Biancocelesti had further consolidated their top place with now only 7 games to go.

Who played for Catania

Rado, Cherubini, Liena, Vaiani, Strucchi, Pereni, Cavazzoni, Volpato (76' Reggiani), Girol, Zanon, Trombini

Substitutes: Criscuolo

Manager: Rubino

Who played for Lazio

Substitutes: Fioravanti, Rinero

Manager: Lorenzo

Referee: Di Tonno

Goals: 50' Facco


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