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  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten

January 30, 1949: Lazio Lucchese 2-1

Updated: Jan 30

Two absolutely crucial points


A Lazio in difficulty managed to beat Lucchese in a vital match for the Biancocelesti.




Source Wikipedia

The season so far


In the summer Lazio had signed forward Ferenc Nyers and said goodbye to Alessandro Ferri, Flavio Cecconi and Corrado Giubilo. But the economic crisis had hit national football big time therefore also Lazio. The Italian Football League introduced a minimum wage and the players threatened to strike. The more active unionists in Lazio were Uber Gradella, Leandro Remondini, Sergio Piacentini, Romano Penzo and Aldo Puccinelli who refused to train and play. In the end a compromise was found just before the start of the first game. But this issue had a negative impact on Lazio as they collected only 4 points in the first ten games. Then they beat Bologna 8-2 and it was all smiles again. But they still only managed 9 points in the subsequent ten and were desperate for points.


The match: Sunday, January 30, 1949, Stadio Nazionale, Rome


This game was the typical example of how Lazio had been playing so far. Enrique Flamini and Mario Magrini had a clear vision of how to play the game, Aldo Puccinelli and Costantino De Andreis of how to develop it, but the forwards were unable to translate all of this into goals. And this is exactly what happened in the game.


Lucchese, who were fairly well positioned in the table and did not have the same desperate need for points as Lazio, played a good match and in the 26th minute hit the woodwork with Gyula Toth. Lazio played constantly in the Tuscan half and were able to finally score in the 34th minute. Ball in the penalty box, nobody was able to score or clear until it arrived to Penzo who put the ball in the net. 1-0 for Lazio.


The second half started with two disallowed goals each that preceded Lazio’s second goal with Magrini in the 54th minute. Lucchese woke up and Lazio fell back in defence, In the 65th minute the Tuscan team scored with Ugo Conti and the match was reopened. They even had the chance to equalise when unmarked Toth and Josef Fabian had only Gradella to beat. But they messed up and allowed the Lazio defence to clear.


A vital win for Lazio, but the Biancocelesti really did need a decent centre forward.


Who played for Lazio


Manager: Sperone


Who played for Lucchese


Viola, Bertuccelli, Cuscela, Rosellini, Nay, Scarpato, Merlin, Toth, Fabian, Magni, Conti.

Manager: Viani


Referee: Marchetti


Goals: 34’ Penzo I, 54’ Magrini, 65’ Conti


What happened next


At the end of January Remo Zenobi returned as President of the club and with him he brought Norbert Hofling, exactly the centre forward that Lazio desperately needed. And with him the Biancocelesti went considerably better with seven wins in the second half of the season with two spectacular 5-1’s against Palermo and Genoa and one away win against Pro Patria. At the end of the season Lazio arrived 13th. Piacentini and Puccinelli had the most appearances (38) and Penzo the most goals (12).


The season ending was however tragic for Italian football. The great Torino who had won 5 consecutive scudetto's between 1942-43 and 1948-49 died in an air crash on May 4 1949. Returning from a friendly against Benfica in Lisbon, the plane carrying the whole team crashed into the wall at the back of the Basilica of Superga which is on a hill near Turin. All 31 people on the flight died. These included the players, coaching staff, a few journalists and the flight crew.


Tommaso Maestrelli was supposed to be on that plane. Despite the fact that he was playing for Roma at the time, he had been invited by Valentino Mazzola, Ferruccio Mazzola’s father, to join the team for the friendly match. Maestrelli did not make it because he was unable to renew his passport in time.


A great tragedy for Italian football. The Torino team was the backbone of the Nazionale and Valentino Mazzola was the best Italian player.


Lazio 1948-49

Competition

Played

Won

Drawn

Lost

Goals scored

Serie A

38

11

12

15

60

Top five appearances

Player

Serie A

Piacentini

38

Puccinelli

38

Alzani

33

Magrini

32

Penzo

32

Top five goal scorers

Player

Serie A

Penzo

12

Magrini

9

Puccinelli

8

Nyers

8

Remondini

6

Let's talk about Romano Penzo


Source Wikipedia

Romano Penzo was born in Chioggia on April 8 1920. He started playing football in the Rovigo youth teams and made it to the A side in 1938-39. A year later he signed for Fiorentina in Serie A and stayed until the beginning of the Second World War. He then played for Milan and Varese during the war.


In 1945 he joined Inter and had his most successful year scoring 18 goals, five of which in a single match against Genoa, a joint record shared with Giuseppe Meazza and Guglielmo Gabetto. He signed for Brescia in 1946-47 and had another prolific year with 14 goals.


Penzo joined Lazio in 1947 and stayed for three seasons. A strong, powerful, acrobatic centre forward, he was an excellent player. He played 90 games in Serie A for Lazio and scored 36 goals.


After leaving Lazio he joined Fiorentina again but played very little. He later played for minor teams and quit football in 1955.


Romano Penzo died in Turin on June 22 1991.


Appearances and goals for Lazio

Season

Total appearances (goals)

Serie A

Latin Cup

1947-48

33 (17)

33 (17)

-

1948-49

32 (12)

32 (12)

-

1949-50

27 (7)

26 (7)

1

Total

92 (36)

91 (36

36

Sources:





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