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  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten

June 16, 1968: Lazio Foggia 1-0

Relegation avoided

 

A dismal season finally over as Lazio manage to avoid relegation fears




Source Lazio Wiki

The season so far

 

The previous season had been a disaster and Lazio had dropped into Serie B for the second time in their history. Following the World Cup elimination of 1966 by North Korea, the Italian federation had decided to reduce the number of Serie A teams to 16, hence for the 1966-67 season four teams would be relegated. With one game to go, Spal, Vicenza and Lazio had 27 points and Brescia 28. Foggia, Venezia and Lecco had already been mathematically relegated so there was one place left. 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.

 

Maino Neri, who had taken the place of Umberto Mannocchi earlier last season, was not confirmed as manager and in came Renato Gei. New arrivals were goalkeeper Rosario Di Vincenzo (Potenza), Pierluigi Ronzon (Napoli), Piero Cucchi (Varese), Nello Governato back from his loan to Vicenza, Costantino Fava (Treviso) and Giuliano Fortunato (Milan). Leaving Lazio were Piero Dotti and Vito D’Amato, both to Inter, Can Bartu (Fenerbahce), Enrico Burlando (Varese) and Roberto Gori (Livorno). In the Autumn transfer window Carlo Soldo had arrived from Inter.

 

In Coppa Italia Lazio had been eliminated by Reggina in the second round.

 

In Serie B Lazio had not been doing very well. At the first half of the season, they were 12th, though only four points away from the promotion zone (there were 17 teams in just eight points). Since then, things had not improved. Gei was sacked in February and the team handed over to Bob Lovati. With two games to the end of the season they had a four-point cushion over the relegation zone. A win today would avoid trouble.

 

The match: Sunday, June 16, 1968, Stadio Olimpico, Rome

 

Despite the fact that Lazio needed to win to stay in Serie B and Foggia also needed two points for their quest for Serie A, the first 15 minutes were rather slow as the two teams were afraid to commit themselves. But then the Biancocelesti took charge with Bruno Gioia and Nello Governato taking over midfield. Costantino Fava had the first chance but Gian Nicola Pinotti saved into corner. In the 25th minute Rosario DI Vincenzo made a good save on a Cataldo Gambino shot. In the 43rd minute Governato headed the ball to Romano Bagatti who with a bicycle kick shaved the crossbar. The first half ended with a Roberto Rolla daisy cutter which was saved by the Lazio goalkeeper.

 

The second half started with Foggia going close with Alberto Vivian but then the Biancocelesti took over and first Pinotti was forced to anticipate Bagatti and then Fava missed a golden chance kicking the ball at the keeper from no more than three metres. But in the 75th minute everything changed. Carlo Soldo came out of defence and passed the ball to Piero Cucchi on the right wing. Cross into the box and the Lazio defender, who had pushed forward, volleyed the ball in the goal. In the 84th minute Roberto Oltremari’s attempt was saved by De Vincenzo and then nothing more happened.

 

Lazio were safe but this season should have had a different outcome.

 

Who played for Lazio

 

Substitute: Cei

Manager: Lovati

 

Who played for Foggia

 

Pinotti, Capra, Vivian, Pirazzini, Valadè, Faleo, Oltramari, Gambino, Traspedini, Zanardello, Rolla

Substitute: Moschioni

Manager: Montanari

 

Referee: Gonella

 

Goal: 75’ Soldo

 

What happened next

 

In the last match Lazio lost at Reggio Emilia and ended 11th, ten points away from promotion but just two above relegation. With 12 0-0s in one season and no victories away from home, promotion was impossible.

 

The player with the most appearances was Ronzon with 42, and top scorer Fortunato with just 5 goals.

 

Lazio 1967-68

Competition

Played

Won

Drawn

Lost

Goals scored

Serie B

40

10

18

12

33

Coppa Italia

2

1

-

1

1

Total

42

11

18

13

34

Top five appearances

Player

Total

Serie B

Coppa Italia

Ronzon

42

40

2

Fortunato

36

34

2

Gioia

36

34

2

Zanetti

31

31

-

Governato

31

30

1

Top Goal Scorers

Player

Serie B

Fortunato

5

Morrone

4

Massa

3

Let's talk about Bruno Gioia


Source Lazio Wiki

Bruno Gioia was born on December 15 1942 in Pegognaga near Mantova. He began his professional career with Mantova in Serie B before moving to Pisa in 1962 in Serie C where he stayed a couple of years. In 1964 he signed for Messina in Serie A and then went back north to play for Varese. In his first year with the Lombards, Varese were relegated to Serie B but in his second year they came second and were promoted. He did not stay but instead signed for Lazio.

 

The Biancocelesti had just been relegated and in 1967-68 had hoped to get back to Serie A. They did not and as a matter of fact even risked relegation, avoided only in the last but one game. He stayed in Rome until November when he was loaned to Mantova for two years. In 1970 he was sold to Parma in Serie C and he played two seasons there before finishing his career with four last years between Latina and Suzzara (Mantova) in Serie D.

 

With Lazio he made 33 appearances (30 in Serie B and 3 in Coppa Italia) with one goal.


Lazio Career

Season

Total games (goals)

Serie B

Coppa Italia

1967-68

32 (1)

30 (1)

2

Jul-Nov 1968

1

-

1

Total

33 (1)

30 (1)

3

Sources






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