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  • Writer's pictureLazio Stories

December 13, 1981: Lazio Pisa 2-2

Updated: Dec 13, 2023

Speggiorin's moment of glory cancelled out by Pisa comeback


In a match heavily influenced by strong winds Lazio give up a 2 goal lead to impressive Pisa.




Ticket owned by Dag Jenkins. Photo by Dag Jenkins

The season so far


The previous season Lazio had narrowly missed out on promotion. A Stefano Chiodi penalty miss against L.R.Vicenza had condemned them to a 4th place finish.


Ilario Castagner had been confirmed as manager, but several new players had come in, as well as some back from loan periods. Fan favourite Vincenzo D'Amico had returned from his year at Torino, as had Stefano Ferretti from Empoli and Roberto Badiani from Pistoiese. Lazio had also bought defender Vincenzo Chiarenza (Taranto), midfielder Michele De Nadai (a rare signing from rivals Roma) and forwards Walter Speggiorin (Napoli) and Claudio Vagheggi (L.R Vicenza).


Leaving Lazio were defenders Filippo Citterio (Napoli) and Pietro Ghedin (Pistoiese), midfielder Giuseppe Greco (Ascoli) and forward Stefano Chiodi (Bologna on loan).


Lazio had got off to a sluggish start with 1 point in the first 3 games but at this stage were showing signs of improvement and came into the game in 4th place with 15 points.


Pisa had arrived a decent 7th the previous year. They were a promising side this season managed by Tuscan Aldo Agroppi and owned by charismatic and volcanic Romeo Anconetani. They were a young team with the prolific attacking partnership of Pasquale Casale and Alessandro Bertoni (who some years later would join Lazio). So far Pisa were confirming their ambitions, playing attractive football, growing in confidence and were only 1 point behind Lazio with 14.


The match: Sunday, December 13, 1981, Rome, Stadio Olimpico


A cold, sunny day in Rome, with strong northerly “tramontana” winds blowing, gathered a crowd of 30,000 at the Olimpico.


In the first half it was Lazio who attacked with the wind behind them but the game was evenly balanced. Both teams had chances; Pisa with Casale and Bertoni and Lazio with Speggiorin. In the 35th minute it would be Speggiorin who broke the deadlock, stealing the show in the most spectacular fashion. The Lazio centre-forward connected with a Badiani cross, and with an acrobatic bicycle kick put the ball in the top hand corner scoring a goal of rare beauty.


Pisa were reorganising themselves and starting to threaten, when only 8 minutes later Lazio doubled their lead. Defender Giorgio Mastropasqua tried his luck from long distance, the ball which was probably carried and pushed by the strong wind, rocketed into the top hand corner. At this point Lazio seemed in control, but there was still the whole second half to be played, this time against the wind.


After the break Pisa took only 10 minutes to pull one back. In the 55th minute, again with the complicity of the northerly wind, a cross by Attilio Sorbi took on a strange trajectory and went in off the post. The Tuscan nerazzurri, already on top, now definitely took control of the proceedings looking for an equaliser. The deadly duo Casale-Bertoni in cooperation with second half substitute Roberto Bergamaschi, wreaked havoc in the Lazio defence. For Lazio Vincenzo D'Amico had gone off injured (61') and they had great difficulty holding on to possession to try to slow the game down. Pisa's efforts were rewarded in the 74th minute when De Nadai fouled Sorbi inside the box, giving away a clear penalty. Casale stepped up and coolly slotted in from the spot kick to level the score. Pisa almost stole it towards the end and looked the more likely to win, but the score remained 2-2.


A missed opportunity for Lazio, who however could also easily have lost. Pisa confirmed to be an exciting and technical side with good reason to be optimistic for the continuation of the season.


Who played for Lazio


Pulici, Chiarenza, Badiani, Mastropasqua, Pighin, De Nadai, Viola, Sanguin, D'Amico (61' Vagheggi), Ferretti, Speggiorin

Substitutes: Marigo, Benini, Mirra, Garlaschelli

Manager: Castagner


Who played for Pisa


Mannini, Riva, Massimi, Vianello, Garuti, Gozzoli, E.Vigano (46' R.Bergamaschi), Casale, Bertoni, Sorbi, Birigozzi (83' Ciardelli)

Substitutes: Buso, Secondini, Pagliari

Manager: Agroppi


Referee: Lops


Goals: 35' Speggiorin, 43' Mastropasqua, 55' Sorbi, 74' Casale (pen)





What happened next


Lazio went on to have a mediocre season. The following week they lost at Bari (1-0) and in January replaced manager Castagner with Roberto Clagluna. Things didn't really improve and at one point Lazio even risked slipping down to C1. In April Lazio didn't score a single goal for 4 consecutive matches. A D'Amico hat-trick in a 3-2 home victory against high flying Varese, after being 2-0 down, eventually saved Lazio's blushes. Despite losing 4 out of the last 5 games, Lazio finished 11th, on 37 points. D'Amico would be Lazio's top scorer with 10 goals. Speggiorin would leave and unfortunately be remembered only for his superb goal against Pisa.


Pisa confirmed the good impression they left at the Olimpico and ended up being promoted to Serie A in 3rd place with 47 points. Casale would score 15 times to take Pisa up to the big time alongside Verona (1st) and Sampdoria (2nd).


Lazio 1981-82

Competition

Played

Won

Drawn

Lost

Goals Scored

Serie B

38

11

15

12

38

Coppa Italia

4

-

1

3

8

Total

42

11

16

15

41

Top Five Appearances

Player

Total

Serie B

Coppa Italia

Chiarenza

41

37

4

Vagheggi

38

34

4

De Nadai

37

33

4

Mastropasqua

37

33

4

Badiani

33

31

2

D'Amico

33

30

3

Top Five Goal Scorers

Player

Total

Serie B

Coppa Italia

D'Amico

10

10

-

Vagheggi

9

9

-

De Nadai

5

4

1

Ferretti

4

3

1

Bigon

3

3

-

Viola

3

3

-


Let’s talk about Giorgio Mastropasqua


Giorgio Mastropasqua is top row, first player from the left. Source Wikipedia

Giorgio Mastropasqua was born in Rivoli (Turin area) on July 13 1951. He started his football career in the youth teams of Juventus. Having joined the first team in 1969, in 1970 he was sent on loan firstly to Perugia for a year and then two years at Ternana. In his first season with the Umbria club, Ternana got promoted in Serie A. In 1972 he debuted in Serie A and also played for Italy’s Under-23.


Ternana however was relegated to Serie B in his second year and Mastropasqua returned to Juventus. In 1973-74 he appeared 8 times for the Bianconeri and in 1974 he joined Atalanta as part of the Gaetano Scirea deal. He stayed for five years and helped the Bergamo side to promotion in Serie A in 1977. In 1979-80 he signed for Bologna and the year after he joined Lazio.


When he arrived Lazio were in Serie A and President Umberto Lenzini was building a team that on the cards could have had European ambitions, but unfortunately Lazio were relegated to Serie B (unjustifiably but that’s another story) due to the Totonero scandal. Lazio were however favourites to come straight back up, but failed in the penultimate match when Stefano Chiodi missed a penalty that could have meant promotion. In Mastropasqua’s second year Lazio were very disappointing and only just managed to avoid relegation in Serie C.


Mastropasqua left and joined Catania and was one of the key players that helped the islanders reach Serie A (his third promotion). The last years of his professional career were spent at Piacenza and Pavia.


Mastropasqua was a modern “libero”. He was not one of those sweepers that defended behind the defence line, but he played ten meters forward, almost at midfield. He had good technique and was unlucky to have joined Lazio at the wrong time.


He was however ultimately fundamental in helping Lazio return to Serie A. In Lazio’s penultimate game of the 1982-83 season, the Biancocelesti had to face Mastropasqua’s Catania. It was a very important game, a win from either side would have almost secured promotion. In the second half, the match was 1-1 when Mastropasqua deflected an innocuous Gabriele Podavini shot into his own goal. Lazio won and needed only a point in the last game to go back to Serie A. In the end both teams were promoted.


He appeared 78 times for Lazio (69 in Serie B and nine in Coppa Italia) and scored five goals (all in Serie B)


When he stopped playing football he became a manager and worked for several amateur clubs in the Bergamo area.


Lazio Career

Season

Total

Serie B

Coppa Italia

1980-81

41 (4)

36 (4)

5

1981-82

37 (1)

33 (1)

4

Total

78 (5)

69 (5)

9

Source


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