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  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten

February 18, 1962: Lazio Modena 1-0

Fundamental win

 

The Biancocelesti beat Modena and move closer to the promotion zone





Source Lazio Wiki

The season so far

 

In the 1960-61 season Lazio finished last in Serie A and were relegated to Serie B for the first time in their history. There were however hopes of an immediate return back to the Italian football elite. To do so, the club revolutionised the squad: among many, Lazio said goodbye to Franco Carradori (Brescia), Franco Janich (Bologna), Bruno Franzini (Bologna), Egidio Fumagalli (Novara), Ugo Pozzan (Pisa), Giacomo Del Gratta (Arezzo) and Bob Lovati who had retired. In the autumn, Orlando Rozzoni (Udinese), Nicola Lo Buono (Pescara) and Giovanni Molino (Napoli) had also left. New players were defenders Gianni Seghedoni (Bari), Diego Zanetti (Novara), Nello Governato (Como) and Graziano Landoni (Messina). The new manager was Paolo Todeschini.

 

Lazio took on a decent pace and finished the first half of the season in third place, just one point behind second place Modena (NB. The first three teams were promoted). The Biancocelesti had stayed second for a lengthy period but then four draws and one loss in the last five matches had slowed them down.


In the first three games of the second half of the season, Lazio had only earned two points and were now fourth with Pro Patria, three points behind second placed Verona and Modena. Leaders Genoa were nine points away.


Todeschini had been sacked and momentarily replaced by Bob Lovati with Alfonso Ricciardi as technical director.


Victory today would be fundamental.


The match: Sunday, February 18, 1962, Stadio Flaminio, Rome


A must win today for Lazio if they wanted to fight for promotion. But after just two minutes Dimitri Pinti got injured and was forced to play on the wing (at the time there were no substitutions). Despite the initial handicap, the Biancocelesti got organised and started attacking. In the 11th minute Luigi Balzarini was forced to fly to stop a Giancarlo Morrone free kick. Th ine Italo-Argentinian had another couple of chances in the first 45 minutes but the Canarini goalkeeper was in a state of grace. In the 42nd minute Morrone hit the woodwork and Paolo Carosi kicked the possible tap-in wide. Two minutes later Giovanni Seghedoni passed to Guglielmo Mecozzi who sent a long ball to Angelo Longoni just inside the penalty area. He stopped the ball and then volleyed it into the net. Lazio 1 Modena 0.


The Biancocelesti could have made it two almost immediately as Morrone gave a splendid assist to the injured Pinti but his weak shot was saved by Balzarini. Pinti missed another chance in the beginning of the second half. Modena tried a foray in the Lazio half for the first time in the 60th minute but Maurizio Thermes’ shot was parried by Idilio Cei in collaboration with Adelmo Eufemi. Towards the end of the game there was a big chance for the visitors. Lamberto Leonardi dribbled most of the Lazio defence and set up Lamberto Giorgis, his shot was miraculously saved by Cei. In the 83rd minute Enrico Pagliari was sent off for a bad foul on Mecozzi.


Great win for Lazio who were now just one point from third place.


Who played for Lazio

 

Manager: Lovati

TD: Ricciardi


Who played for Modena


Balzarini, Barucco, Cuttica, Thermes, Aguzzoli, Ottani, Leonardi, Tinazzi, Pagliari, Giorgis, Vetrano

Manager: Malagoli.

 

Referee: Jonni

 

Goal: 44’ Longoni

 

What happened next


The Lovati-Riccardi reign lasted five games as the club finally decided on Todeschini’s substitute: Carlo Facchin who had previously been head coach at Novara.

 

Lazio vs Napoli on March 4 was a big match, if Lazio won the immediate return to Serie A would be downhill from then on. In the 76th minute the referee, Iginio Rigato, gave a free kick to Lazio. Gianni Seghedoni with a splendid shot put the ball in the back of the net. The Lazio players and fans celebrated; the Napoli players despaired. Rigato laughed. “It’s not a goal, the ball went out”. There was a hole in the net and he claimed the ball went right through it. Lazio protested but there was nothing the players could do.

 

All Lazio wanted was the repetition of the match. They had won the game in the first half of the season in Naples so they felt rather confident they could beat Napoli again. But the appeal was uphill right from the start. RAI, the Italian state television, refused to hand over the footage, the Federal Appeal Commission (CAF) refused to examine the TV images and the Rome-based media who should have raised hell all went very quiet.

 

There was another scandal involving Napoli that year. With three matches to go there was Verona Napoli. Two people associated with Napoli tried to bribe the Verona goalkeeper and got caught in doing so. This should have automatically meant that Napoli at least got a points deduction, or worse. But two things happened: firstly, there was a massive storm over Verona on the Sunday and the match got postponed, and secondly Napoli’s lawyer managed to “convince” the judges that it was a personal initiative by the two and that Napoli were not involved. This should have brought a deduction of some points for strict liability anyway, but Napoli got away with it.

 

In the magnificent book “Controstoria della Lazio”, the author, journalist Vincenzo Cerracchio, underlined the political importance of the then Napoli President, Achille Lauro, former mayor of Naples and very important political figure (if you ever get the chance to see the 1963 movie 'Hands over the City' directed by Francesco Rosi you will understand what type of person Achille Lauro was). Lazio had been commissioned due to very high debts and from a political point of view did not stand a chance.

 

The game was not repeated. Lazio Napoli 0-0.

 

With two games to go, Lazio were third in the company of Verona, Napoli and Modena and one point behind Pro Patria, second. Genoa, first, were miles ahead.

 

Lazio had to face Verona away and lost, killing any chances of promotion, Napoli and Modena drew and Pro Patria surprisingly lost at home. With one game to go, Verona were one point ahead of Napoli, Pro Patria and Modena and two ahead of Lazio. In the last game Napoli and Modena won, Pro Patria and Verona lost so promotion went to the Neapolitans and the Emiliani.

 

Lazio won their last game and missed promotion by one point. Napoli were promoted by one point. If that goal had been given …

 

Idilio Cei was the player with most appearances that season (41) and Juan Carlo Morrone the leading goal scorer with 15 goals.


Lazio 1961-62

Competition

Played

Won

Drawn

Lost

Goals scored

Serie B

38

14

14

10

50

Coppa Italia

3

2

1

-

4

Total

41

16

15

10

54

Top 5 appearances

Player

Total

Serie B

Coppa Italia

Cei

41

38

3

Zanetti

37

35

2

Seghedoni

36

33

3

Morrone

35

33

2

Gasperi

32

29

3

Landoni

32

30

2

Top 5 Goal Scorers

Player

Total

Serie B

Coppa Italia

Morrone

15

14

1

Bizzarri

11

10

1

Longoni

9

9

-

Pinti

5

4

1

Maraschi

3

3

-


Let's talk about Angelo Longoni


Source Lazio Wiki

Angelo Longoni, nicknamed Ciccio, was born on January 17 1933 in Lecco. He started playing football in his hometown but at 17 he signed for Milan. He stayed with the Rossoneri from 1950 to 1954 but made just 15 league appearances with two goals. With Milan he won the youth Viareggio Tournament twice in 1952 and 1953, a scudetto in 1950-51 and a Latin Cup that same season.


In 1954 he moved to Atalanta. He stayed seven years in Bergamo in what was obviously the highlight of his career. He made 197 appearances with 38 goals. Atalanta were relegated in 1958 for alleged match fixing. But a year later it was found out that the main7 witnesses had been bribed by Sampdoria and Atalanta’s relegation was unfair. In the meantime they had won the Serie B championship anyway and returned to Serie A. While in Bergamo, Longoni was even called up for the Nazionale to play a friendly against Austria. Despite scoring two goals in the game, he was never called up again.


In 1961 he signed for Lazio. The Biancocelesti had been relegated to Serie B the previous season for the first time in their long history and were hopeful of a prompt return to Serie A. But they missed out by one point after the goal in a decisive match against Napoli went in but the Referee decided It had gine out through a hole in the net and the referee decided that the opposite had occurred. Napoli were promoted by one point …


In 1962 the Biancocelesti got promoted but Longoni moved on. He signed for Vis Pesaro in Serie C and in 1964-65 played his last year in active football for Lecco in Serie B.


After retiring he became a manager. He worked mainly for Lecco in three stints: 1967-68, 1970-73 and 1981-83, winning the Serie C1 title in 1971-72. He also was head coach for Crotone, Giulianova and Marsala.


With Lazio he made 38 appearances with 12 goals. He was an excellent winger but arrived at Lazio a little late in his career.


He died on June 17 1993 in Lecco.


Lazio Career

Season

Total appearances (goals)

Serie B

Coppa Italia

Cup of the Alps

1960-61

1 (2)

-

-

1 (2)

1961-62

27 (9)

25 (9)

2


1962-63

10 (1)

9 (1)

1


Total

38 (12)

34 (10)

3

1 (2)

Sources



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