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  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten

December 18, 1966: Lazio Inter 1-0

D’Amato gem gives Lazio much needed win

 

A splendid goal from D’Amato gives the Biancocelesti two points over the current champions




Source Wikipedia

The season so far

 

The previous season Lazio arrived 12th. It had been a disappointing season even if there had been a derby win and one in Milan. However, once relegation had been avoided the Biancocelesti stopped playing, getting one point in the last four games.

 

Manager Umberto Mannocci had been confirmed and new entries had been Sergio Castelletti, Rino Marchesi and the return of Giancarlo Morrone, all from Fiorentina, Arrigo Dolso (Udinese), Giuseppe Massa (Internapoli), Romano Bagatti (Varese) and Enrico Burlando (Massese). Leaving the Biancocelesti were Vincenzo Gasperi (Varese), Gianpiero Vitali (Fiorentina), Nicola CIccolo (Vicenza), Antonio Renna (Varese), Orlando Rozzoni (Spal) plus the loan of Nello Governato to Inter. In the autumn Pietro Adorni arrived from Napoli and Governato, who had not fitted in at inter, was loaned to Vicenza.

 

In Coppa Italia Lazio had been eliminated by Lecco in the second round. In the Mitropa Cup the Biancocelesti had eliminated Red Star Belgrade 4-2 on aggregate.

 

In Serie A, the Biancocelesti had been even more disappointing than last year. They were 15th in the relegation zone (four would go down to Serie B due to the decision to reduce the Serie A teams to 16 following the 1966 World Cup debacle against North Korea) and had a long way to go to get out of the troubled waters. They had won only once (1-0 at Lecco), drawn five and lost five, including the derby. Mannocci was sacked in November and replaced by Maino Neri.

 

A win against Inter would be vital. But the Neroazzurri were one of the best teams in Europe. They had won the scudetto the previous year and the European Cup in 1964 and 1965. Much of that team would be playing in Rome: Giacinto Facchetti, Sandro Mazzola, Luis Suraez, Jair, Mario Corso, but also future Lazio players Mario Facco and Carlo Soldo plus old timer and future Lazio manager Luis Vinicio. They were also top of the table.

 

The Match: Sunday December 18, 1966, Stadio Olimpico, Rome

 

Inter had Tarcisio Burnich out due to injury but were the clear favourites as they soon showed in the 8th minute. Corso to Suarez who dribbled past Adorni and passed to Mazzola. Massive shot which hit the woodwork. Five minutes later Corso had a chance but in front of Idilio Cei could not do better than kick the ball at the keeper. In the 28th minute Gianfranco Bedin had an incredible scoring opportunity thanks to a Jair assist but shot wide. In the 38th minute Cei was nothing short of miraculous on a Mazzola lob. Towards the end of the first half Lazio finally created a couple of chances but Romano Bagatti’s shot was too high and Enrico Burlando’s attempt was saved by Giuliano Sarti.

 

In the 64th minute a Corso-Bedin-Suarez play allowed Angelo Domenghini a chance but his header was well saved by Cei. In the 73rd minute Facchetti tried from outside the box but it went wide. 

 

In the 80th minute, the miracle. Enrico Burlando to Vito D’Amato who lobbed the ball over Aristide Guarneri, moved it to his left foot beating Facchetti and then volleyed the ball into the goal. A sensational goal.

 

Inter took back control of the game and Paolo Carosi saved a certain goal on a Domenghini cross. In the 88th minute Bedin had the chance to tap the ball in after a Cei save, but it went out.

 

A great and unexpected victory for Lazio.

 

Who played for Lazio

 

Cei, Dotti, Adorni, Carosi, Pagni, Anzuini, D’Amato, Burlando, Morrone, Bartu, Bagatti

Manager: Neri

 

Who played for Inter

 

Sarti, Landini, Facchetti, Bedin, Guarneri, Picchi, Jair, Mazzola, Domenghini, Suarez, Corso. 

Manager: Helenio Herrera.

 

Referee: Francescon

 

Goal: 80’ D’Amato



What happened next

 

At the end of the first half of the season Lazio were 14th but the battle to avoid relegation was going to be a long one. With four games to the end, the Biancocelesti were 12th together with Spal and Brescia and one point ahead of Vicenza. Foggia, Venezia and Lecco were already doomed. Lazio played at home to Brescia knowing that a victory would probably get them out of the relegation battle. They lost as they did the next game at Bologna too. With two games to go, Brescia 28 points, Vicenza 27, Spal 26, Lazio 25.

 

In the last match at home the Biancocelesti managed to beat Foggia while  Vicenza and Brescia lost and Spal drew. With one game to go, Spal, Vicenza and Lazio had 27 points and Brescia 28. 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.

 

The worst thing about this season were the 10 goalless draws. Which really showed that the attack in particular was greatly under par. 

 

The players with most appearances were Carosi and Morrone (38), top scorer was Bagatti with 7 goals.


Lazio 1966-67

Competition

Played

Won

Drawn

Lost

Goals scored

Serie A

34

6

15

13

20

Coppa Italia

2

1

-

1

1

Mitropa Cup

4

1

1

2

5

Total

40

8

16

16

26

Top Five Appearances

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Mitropa Cup

Morrone

38

33

2

3

Carosi

38

33

2

3

Cei

37

31

2

4

D'Amato

37

32

2

3

Pagni

36

30

2

4

Top Five Goal Scorers

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Mitropa Cup

Bagatti

7

4

-

3

D'Amato

5

3

1

1

Morrone

4

4

-

-

Marchesi

2

2

-

-

Sassaroli

2

2

-

-

Let's talk about Vito D'Amato


Vito D'Amato is third from left kneeling. Source Wikipedia

Vito D’Amato was born in Gallipoli on July 27, 1944. His family soon moved to Rome due to the fact that his father got a job as janitor. He joined Lazio as a kid and went through all the Biancoceleste youth teams and debuted in Serie A on December 20 1964 at Genoa against Sampdoria. That season he made 16 appearances and scored 3 goals.

 

He became a regular and a fan favourite thanks to the goal against Roma which gave Lazio victory on October 10 1965. He scored a spectacular goal the next season against Inter. He must have impressed the Nerazzurri because in 1967 they signed him. Lazio desperately needed money, and had been relegated, so they could not ignore the offer. D’Amato was also part of the 40 selected for the 1966 World Cup in the UK.

 

At Inter he did not play much, just 13 appearances and one goal, and in 1968 he returned to Rome but on the wrong side of the Tiber. He played a year for the Giallorossi winning a Coppa Italia. In 1969 he moved to Cesena in Serie B but in November was sold to Verona in Serie A where he stayed two seasons. 

 

His last two years of high-level football he spent with Catania in Serie B. He then signed for Ocres Moca, a team based in Guidonia Montecelio just outside of Rome where he played from 1974 to 1977 and then became their manager. In 1997-98 he was head coach of the Lazio Women’s team.

 

It was a pity D’Amato did not fulfil his potential. He was a great player but never quite made it. He made 87 appearances for Lazio (79 in Serie A, 5 in Coppa Italia and 3 in the Mitropa Cup) with 15 goals (13 in Serie A, and one each in Coppa Italia and Mitropa Cup).


Lazio Career

Season

Total appearances (goals)

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Mitropa Cup

1963-64

1

-

1

-

1964-65

16 (3)

16 (3)

-

-

1965-66

34 (7)

31 (7)

3

-

1966-67

37 (5)

32 (3)

2 (1)

3 (1)

Total

87 (15)

79 (13)

6 (1)

3 (1)

Sources


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