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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

June 15, 1958: Lazio Napoli 3-1, Coppa Italia

Two on two for cup chasers


Lazio win again to keep Coppa Italia dream alive




Source Lazio Wiki

The season so far


Lazio had finished an excellent 3rd the previous season, under Englishman Jesse Carver.

 

This year however, Lazio found themselves in serious financial difficulty and were not able to improve the squad. Carver had left for Inter and the new manager was Milovan Ćirić, but he had been sacked in early February after a 0-5 defeat at Bologna. The next manager was then former player Alfredo Monza (1935-43).

 

The only new signings of note were midfielders Ugo Pozzan (Bologna) and Giorgio Bravi (Taranto-end of loan). The departures were more significant as Lazio were losing defender Primo Sentimenti V after seven seasons (Udinese) and forward Lorenzo Bettini (Udinese). Karl Aage Praest was retiring but he had not made much impact in Rome.

 

In Serie A Lazio had struggled and finished 12th. The highlights were beating Roma 2-1 and Inter 3-1 at home. Top scorer was Arne Selmosson with 9 league goals.

 

Today was the second game of Coppa Italia. The domestic cup was to be played in the summer to make up for Italy not qualifying for the 1958 World Cup in Sweden.

 

As it was between seasons, the squads were undergoing changes. Lazio had a new manager for a start, former Lazio player Fulvio Bernardini, and had added goalkeeper Idilio Cei (Foligno), defender Franco Janich (Atalanta), midfielder Carlo Tagnin (Alessandria), forwards Maurilio Prini (Fiorentina) and Claudio Bizzarri (Fiorentina).

 

There had however been another major change to the Lazio squad. It was more a trauma, as Swedish idol Arne Selmosson, (nicknamed "Raggio di Luna", moonbeam, for the pallor of his skin) after 3 highly successful seasons and 31 goals in 101 games for Lazio, had done the unmentionable; he had swapped 'sides of the Tiber' and signed for bitter rivals Roma.

 

It was a major event in Rome and some people were even said to have changed teams siding with the Giallorossi just so they could continue following the Swede (such as former Prime Minister Massimo D'Alema, just to name one). Until 2018 he was the only player to have scored for both Lazio and Roma in derbies (since emulated by Kolarov and Pedro). So, Lazio had started their cup campaign "Selmossonless".

 

Other players leaving apart from "Raggio di Luna" were midfielder Luigi Fuin (Juventus) plus forwards Ermes Muccinelli (Juventus) and Pasquale Vivolo (Genoa).

 

The format of the cup was 8 groups of 4 teams each. The winners of each group would then play the quarter finals after the summer, in September. Lazio were in group H with Roma, Napoli and Palermo.

 

 

Napoli had just finished 4th in Serie A, under manager Amedeo Amedei. The games against Lazio had been one defeat, 1-4 in Rome and a 1-1 draw in Naples. Top scorer was future Lazio manager, Luís Vinicio with 21 league goals.

 

In the first Coppa Italia game the Partenopei had lost 0-2 at home to Roma.

 

By winning today Lazio could potentially almost eliminate a dangerous rival for the group victory.

 

The match: Sunday, June 15, 1958, Stadio Olimpico, Rome


Another late kick-off did not attract a big crowd despite it being a pleasant evening.

 

Lazio played with their new signings: Carlo Tagnin, Claudio Bizzarri and Maurilio Prini while Napoli were without top scorer Luis Vinicio, forward Beniamino Di Giacomo, midfielder Sergio Morin and keeper Ottavio Bugatti.

 

The visitors from Napoli started more positively than their Roman hosts. The Partenopei had three chances in the first twelve minutes. First a Luigi Brugula effort went just wide, then Carlo Novelli forced Bob Lovati into a difficult save and finally Amedeo Gasparini shot high from a favourable position.

 

After this initial burst however, Lazio started to dominate. In the 14th minute Mauro Benvenuti denied Renzo Burini's long range shot but two minutes later Lazio scored. In the 16th minute a Tagnin-Bizzarri move was finished off by Humberto Tozzi. Lazio 1 Napoli 0.

 

The Biancocelesti could have doubled their lead five minutes later but Tozzi was off target after a brilliant ball by Ugo Pozzan.

 

In the 22nd minute Lovati had to dive low and gather a threatening low cross from the byline but ten minutes later Lazio scored again. This time Tozzi did it all alone and sent a thundering long range shot past Benvenuti. Lazio 2 Napoli 0.

 

Lazio were rampant and in the 35th minute Bizzarri missed a sitter after an excellent Franco Carradori-Prini-Tozzi combination. In the 40th Benvenuti just anticipated Tozzi set up by Bizzarri. In the 41st the keeper saved a Burini header onto the crossbar, the ball then fell to Prini who hit the post. In the 45th minute another post hit by Burini again saved the visitors. Half time Lazio 2 Napoli 0.

 

After a good start by the Azzurri, Lazio had taken control and could have been leading by a larger margin.

 

The second half saw Lazio continue at the charge. In the 47th minute they made it three. Following a corner Benvenuti cleared with a fist but only as far as Tagnin who drilled home a low strike. Lazio 3 Napoli 0.

 

In the 49th minute Lazio went close again. Tozzi took a freekick but Burini was in its path and changed the direction of the ball, the keeper however did well to react and dived low to save.

 

Lazio then slowed down and at this point Napoli stirred and had shots by Brugola, Gino Bertucco and Bruno Pesaola saved by Lovati. The visitors continued to put pressure on Lazio’s defence as the subsequent five corners testify.

 

They were rewarded for their efforts in the 80th minute. Luciano Comaschi tried his luck from about 25 metres out and the ball took a deflection off Mario Colombo, giving Lovati no chance. Lazio 3 Napoli 1.

 

Lazio then controlled the remaining minutes reasonably well, also helped by Napoli defender Rodolfo Beltrandi being forced off injured.

 

The Partenopei did however have one last opportunity on the break in the 88th minute. A cracking shot by Gasparini was saved superbly by Lovati. Final score Lazio 3 Napoli 1.

 

A good win for Lazio. The new arrivals had played well, Tagnin in particular and Humberto Tozzi were on fire. Napoli had been well beaten but had the virtue of never having given up.

 

Lazio now had 4 points, Palermo 2, Roma 2 and Napoli 0. Things were looking good but next up was the derby.

 

Who played for Lazio


Manager: Bernardini

 

Who played for Napoli


Benvenuti, Comaschi, Greco II, Beltrandi, Franchini, Posio, Novelli, Bertucco, Brugola, Pesaola, Gasparini

Manager: Amedei

 

Referee: Lo Bello


Goals: 16' Tozzi, 32' Tozzi, 47' Tagnin, 80' Colombo (og)

 

What happened next


Lazio went on to win the cup, their first historic silverware. Top scorer was Humberto Tozzi with 11 cup goals.

 

In the group phase they won another 2 (Roma 3-2 and Napoli 4-0) and drew 2 (Palermo 2-2 and Roma 1-1). They topped the group with 10 points ahead of Roma 7, Palermo 5 and Napoli 2.

 

On September 6 the Biancocelesti beat Marzotto Valdagno 2-1 and then Juventus 2-0 at home in the semi-final.

 

In the final on September 24 against Fiorentina, in Rome, Lazio triumphed 1-0 with a Maurilio Prini goal after thirty minutes.

 

Bob Lovati lifted Lazio's first ever trophy after 58 years of trying.

 

Napoli ended up bottom. In the next four games they won 1 (Palermo 4-2 at home) and lost 3 (Roma 1-2, Palermo 1-5 away and Lazio 0-4 at home). Top scorer was Carlo Novelli I with 2 goals.


Lazio 1957-58

Competition

Played

Won

Drawn

Lost

Goals scored

Serie A

34

10

10

14

45

Coppa Italia

6

4

2

-

18

Total

40

14

12

14

63

Top five appearances

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Pinardi

35

30

5

Molino

34

34

-

Selmosson

33

33

-

Muccinelli

32

32

-

Pozzan

32

27

5

Top five goal scorers

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Tozzi

16

7

9

Burini

12

7

5

Selmosson

9

9

-

Pozzan

6

5

1

Muccinelli

5

5

-

Let's talk about Mario Colombo


Source Lazio Wiki

Mario Colombo was born in Busto Arsizio (Varese) on July 28, 1934.

 

His early football was played in the youth sectors of his hometown club Pro Patria.

 

In 1955 he joined the first team squad of the "Tigrotti" (Tigers). The Lombards were in Serie A but got relegated with an 18th place finish. The manager was first Hungarian Imre Senkey (1-12) and then Carlo Reguzzoni. Colombo played 30 league games.

 

In 1956-57 in Serie B the Biancoblu were relegated again, finishing 17th under Reguzzoni. Colombo played 22 league games with 1 goal (Modena).

 

In 1957-58 he played a season with Lazio in Serie A. The managers were first Milovan Ćirić (1-19), then Alfredo Monza (20-34) and finally Fulvio Bernardini (for the summer Coppa Italia). Lazio finished 12th. The highlights were beating Napoli 4-1, Inter 3-1 and Roma 2-1, all at home. Colombo played 6 league games.

 

In June the 1958 Coppa Italia began. This was because Italy had not qualified for the World Cup in Sweden so this domestic tournament would entertain the fans for the time being (this was before TV ruled football). Lazio did so well that they actually won the cup. They won their group, beating Roma on the way, then, in September, Marzotto Valdagno 2-1, Juventus 2-0 and Fiorentina 1-0 in the final. Colombo played 3 games in the summer but by September he had returned to Pro Patria.

 

He stayed with the Bustocchi for three more seasons, all under manager Piero Magni. In the first in Serie C, they finished 12th, in the second they won the league and promotion to Serie B and in the third 7th in B. Colombo played a total of 43 league games with 1 goal.

 

He then played one last season in 1961-62 with Como in Serie B. Under manager Giuseppe Baldini and then Francesco Tortarolo, the Lariani finished 15th. Colombo played 12 league games and 1 in Coppa Italia.

 

Colombo then retired at not even 26.

 

He was a defender. He played 36 games in Serie A. At Lazio he won a Coppa Italia in 1958. He was not present when Bob Lovati lifted the cup as by then he had returned to Pro Patria but his three games in the group phase helped Lazio on their way to their first ever silverware.


Lazio Career

Season

Total Appearances

Serie A

Coppa Italia

1957-58

9

6

3

Sources




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