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  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten

January 26, 1969: Lecco Lazio 1-2

Updated: Jan 26

Important win for Lazio


Lazio had to battle right to the end of the match to clinch these two very important points at Lecco.




Source Wikipedia

The season so far


Following a disastrous year in Serie B in the previous season, the 1968-69 season had to see Lazio promoted to Serie A.


For this reason in the summer transfer window Lazio signed Ferruccio Mazzola and Mario Facco from Inter and Gian Piero Ghio from Avellino.


So far Lazio were always between second and third place and, because two of Lazio’s star players, Nello Governato and Giancarlo Morrone, were having difficulty in finding decent form and another two, Rosario Di Vincenzo and Giuseppe Massa, were out with serious injuries. This meant there was not much room for improvement from an organisational point of view. However, Giuliano Fortunato was scoring lots of goals and the newcomer Facco too was showing his importance, so there was hope for promotion.


The manager was Juan Carlos Lorenzo again but because he was a foreigner he could not officially be manager. Therefore Bob Lovati (who else) sat on the bench during the games.


The match: Sunday, January 26, Stadio M. Rigamonti, Lecco


Rosario Di Vincenzo and Carlo Soldo were injured so Lazio had substituted them with youngsters Pietro Fioravanti and Vincenzo Martella who would become two of the main actors in this match in the 19th minute, for better and for worse. The latter, disastrous in his first minutes, committed a stupid foul on Riccardo Innocenti in the box. The former then saved the penalty. Giorgio Azzimonti took it, aimed low and close to the post, but the shot was weak and Fioravanti saved.


A minute later Lazio scored. Magnificent shot from outside the penalty box from Mazzola, Giuseppe Meraviglia could not hold on the ball, Ghio ready for the tap in made it 1-0 for Lazio. Lazio had a couple of chances a few minutes later but Fortunato’s shot was well saved by the Lecco keeper and Mazzola’s shot was just wide. The 2-0 came anyway in the 33rd minute. Mazzola to Ghio who passed it to Fortunato. Great shot, nothing Meraviglia could do about it. Towards the end of the first half Mazzola hit the woodwork and Giuseppe Massa missed a chance from a favourable position.


The dominant Lazio of the first half stayed in the changing rooms and on came a scared and sleepy team. Lecco were ready to exploit the change and reduced the deficit in the 63rd. minute. Mazzola lost the ball thus generating a counter attack. Renato Gavinelli to Giovanni Scacchi who passed the ball to Virginio Canzi who did not miss. Game on.


In the 78’ minute Innocenti had the chance of a lifetime to draw level but missed the ball completely. Lazio’s defence made no more mistakes and the team was able to bring the two points back home.


With this win Lazio moved up to first place together with Brescia.


Who played for Lecco


Meraviglia (46' Balzarini), Bravi, Sacchi, Noletti, Bacher, Marchetti, Gavinelli, Azzimonti, Innocenti, Calloni, Canzi.

Substitutes: Pomaro

Manager: Gei


Who played for Lazio


Substitutes: Leardi

Coach: Lovati

Manager: Lorenzo


Referee: Possagno


Goals: 20’ Ghio, 33’ Fortunato, 63’ Canzi


What happened next


After the first half of the season, Lazio's position was joint second with Bari and behind Brescia. However, everything fell into place in the second half. In 19 games they only lost twice and won decisive games away from home. Key players managed to find form and goals came regularly from several players.


Lazio managed to secure promotion with two games to go and reach the top spot in the last match.


The player with the most appearances was Rino Marchesi, who played every single game in Serie B, and Ghio was top scorer.


Lazio 1968-69

Competition

Played

Won

Drawn

Lost

Goals scored

Serie B

38

17

16

5

55

Coppa Italia

3

-

2

1

2

Total

41

17

18

5

57

Top Five Appearances

Player

Total

Serie B

Coppa Italia

Ghio

40

37

3

40

37

3

Soldo

39

36

3

38

38

-

Fortunato

37

35

-2

Top Five Goal Scorers

Player

Total

Serie B

Coppa Italia

Ghio

11

10

1

8

8

-

Fortunato

8

8

-

7

6

1

Morrone

6

6

-

Let's talk about Gian Piero Ghio


Gianpiero Ghio, on the left, together with Ferruccio Mazzola. Source Wikipedia

Gian Piero Ghio was one of the most important Lazio players in the 1968-69 season and gave a huge hand in the promotion to Serie A. He was a good centre-forward who could also play on the wing.


Born in Agna (Padova) on January 28 1944, he started his career in the Sampdoria youth teams. In the 1960s he played for Vis Pesaro in Serie C and for Monza in Serie B. He attracted the attention of Lazio after his 1967-68 stint with Avellino in Serie C where he scored 20 goals in 29 games.


He signed for Lazio in 1968-69 and contributed with 10 goals to Lazio's promotion. He stayed another year with the Biancocelesti before moving to Napoli in 1970-71. In 1971-72 he was a reserve player for Inter and even scored in the European Cup against Borussia Monchengladbach.


His career continued in Serie B with Atalanta, Novara, Casale (in Serie C) and Brescia. After quitting football he became a manager and trained a number of lower league teams in the 1980s and 1990s.


He played 69 times for Lazio (25 in Serie A, 37 in Serie B, 5 in Coppa Italia and 2 in Mitropa Cup) and scored 16 goals (5 in Serie A, 10 in Serie B and one in Coppa Italia).


Appearances and goals for Lazio

Season

Total appearances (goals)

Serie A

Serie B

Coppa Italia

Mitropa Cup

1968-69

40 (11)

-

37 (10)

3 (1)

-

1969-70

29 (5)

25 (5)

-

2

2

Total

69 (16)

25 (5)

37 (10)

5 (1)

2

Sources


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