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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

June 23, 1929: Lazio Napoli 2-2

Updated: 1 day ago

Playoff for first ever single Serie A ends in draw so rematch needed


A 2-2 draw meant they had to play again but more surprises were on the way



Source SS Lazio Museum

The season so far


The previous season had not been great. Under Austrian coach, Franz Sedlacek, the Biancocelesti had finished 10th in the National A group (A and B - top 4 from each played final group). Technically they would have been relegated but were kept up as the league was to be expanded.


This season Sedlacek started the season but had been replaced by Fernando Saraceni after the fourth match. Then after the fourteenth game Augusto Rangone came in but he too was replaced, by Hungarian Ferenc Molnár after the twenty-third match. So it was the Magyar who sat on the bench today.


Lazio had bought some decent players in the summer. Among them were midfielders Leopoldo Caimmi (Livorno), Marino Furlani (Pro Gorizia), Silvio Griggio (Vicenza), Francesco Rier (Modena) and Aldo Spivach (Udinese).


The main player leaving was striker Dante Filippi (Pontedera - after 65 goals for Lazio).


The 1929-30 season the following year would be the first single national championship but only the top 8 teams from each of this year's two groups would qualify. Lazio had finished the season in joint eighth position with Napoli so today was a playoff. The Romans' top scorers were Aldo Spivach with 11 goals, Dino Lamon I had 9 and Carlo Cevenini V had 6.


So far Lazio had won 13 (including Napoli 2-1 away), drawn 3 and lost 14. In the last three matches they had beaten Reggiana 4-0, with a Spivach hat-trick, Juventus 1-0 away and in the last match drawn against Napoli 0-0. They needed to win today to qualify for the new national 16-team format.


Napoli had finished 9th in Group A the previous season, first under Swiss Jean Steiger, then a technical committee and finally current Lazio coach, Hungarian Ferenc Molnár. This year Austrian Otto Fischer (a Jew who would later die in the holocaust) had started, but then former Lazio player Giovanni Terrile took over. Napoli, as mentioned, finished joint 8th with Lazio after 11 wins, 8 draws and 12 defeats. Their top scorer was Attila Sallustro with 22 goals.


In modern times Lazio would have qualified for having won and drawn the direct clashes (2-1, 0-0) or for having a better goal difference (+8 to -3) but this was 1929...


The match: Sunday June 23, 1929, Stadio San Siro, Milan


So it was all down to this final match in San Siro, Milan. It was the second match between the two teams in a week as on June 16 they had drawn 0-0 in Rome, in the last game of the season.


Both sides had support, as many fans had made the trips from Rome and Naples plus many Neapolitans lived and worked in the Lombard capital. The Napoli fans were more but the Lazio fans had an enormous banner with "FORZA LAZIO" up for the whole match.


In the early stages Napoli seemed fresher and livelier. They had been recharging their batteries in nearby Varese, the Garden City, for the past five days and the idea appeared to have worked.


As predictable, it was an extremely tense and hard fought game. Napoli were on top in the first half and controlled the midfield. Lazio defended deep but were very sharp on the counter attack. In fact the "Capitolini" took the lead after 17 minutes. Lazio midfielder Luigi Bodrato I charged forward and teed up Spivach who beat Archimede Valeriani. Lazio 1 Napoli 0.


The "Partenopei" continued to occupy Lazio’s half but had great difficulty creating any serious chances. Halftime Lazio 1 Napoli 0.


The second half started in the same pattern but in the 55th minute Napoli equalised. It was Attila Sallustro who scourged Lazio's barricade and drew the Campani level. Lazio 1 Napoli 1.


Five minutes later another key event occurred when Lazio’s Luigi Saraceni II was sent off for an attempted punch at Camillo Fenili.


Ten minutes later Napoli took advantage of the numerical superiority and went into the lead. In the 69th minute a Gontarno Innocenti II shot caught the Lazio defence unawares and put the "Azzurri" in front. Lazio 1 Napoli 2. At this point Napoli seemed in the driving seat, 2-1 up and Lazio down to ten men.


There was another factor to take into account however, the heat. Napoli suddenly slowed down and started to look tired. In the 80th Lazio found an equaliser, Cevenini V with something between a cross and a shot put the ball over Valeriani and into the net. Lazio 2 Napoli 2.


The heat, tiredness and tension then got the better of both teams and the game ended 2-2. The pointless extra time drew the game out even longer but it was obvious a rematch would be necessary.


The two teams would again try to break the deadlock a week later, at the Stadio Appiani in Padova. Third time lucky?


Who played for Lazio


Sclavi, Saraceni (II), Bottacini, Pardini, Furlani, Caimmi, Cevenini (V), Bodrato, Spivach, Rier, Vaccari

Manager: Molnár


Who played for Napoli


Valeriani, Innocenti (I), Scacchetti, De Martino, Roggia, Cassese, Gariglio, Innocenti (II), Sallustro, C.Buscaglia, Fenili

Manager: Terrile


Referee: Carraro


Goals: 17' Spivach, 55' Sallustro, 69' Innocenti (II), 80' Cevenini (V)


What happened next


At first the game in Padova was initially postponed. Then came a "coup de théâtre", the FIGC decided to change the format from 16 to 18 teams thus qualifying Lazio and Napoli plus Triestina (9th in Group A). Another playoff was no longer necessary.


The 2-2 draw in Milan was therefore considered null and would not even count statistically. Much Ado About Nothing.


Lazio would participate in the 1929-30 Single National Serie A Championship!



Lazio 1928-29

Competition

Played

Won

Drawn

Lost

Goals scored

National Division

30

13

3

14

47

Serie A Qualification play off

1

-

1

-

2

Total

31

13

4

14

49

Top five appearances

Players

Total

National Division

Serie A Qualification Play off

Bottacini

30

29

1

Spivach

30

29

1

Sclavi

29

28

1

Caimmi

28

27

1

Furlani

28

27

1

Top five goalscorers

Players

Total

National Division

Serie A Qualification Play off

Spivach

13

12

1

Lamon I

9

9

-

Griggio

7

7

-

Cevenini V

7

6

1

Furlani

4

4

-

Let's talk about Carlo Cevenini "Cevenini V"


Carlo Cevenini is second from left standing. Source Wikipedia

Carlo Cevenini V was born in Milan, on March 8, 1901.


He was the fifth of five brothers who all played football. Aldo (Milan and Inter), Mario (Milan and Inter), Luigi, the most successful (Milan, Inter and Juventus, with 225 goals and 29 Italy caps) and Cesare (Milan and Inter).


Our man Carlo started his career with Milan in 1917. He played 9 league games in three seasons with 2 goals.


In 1920 he joined city rivals Ambrosiana (Inter) where his four brothers also played. Carlo played 16 games with 15 goals. Inter were eliminated in the national semi-finals.


The following year he played for Novese (Novi Ligure). He played 12 games and Novese won the Italian title defeating Sampierdarenese 2-1 in the final.


In 1923 he joined Crema and a year later moved back to his home city and signed for Milan again. In his four years with the Rossoneri he played 68 league games with 25 goals plus 1 domestic cup game and earned the nickname Carlo V.


In 1927 he joined Lazio. His first manager was Austrian Franz Sedlacek and Lazio finished 10th in Group A. Cevenini got his first goal against Brescia on January 22. He would also score against Livorno in the CONI Cup (for all the teams out of the final scudetto group).


In 1928-29 Lazio changed manager three times; Sedlacek (1-3), Fernando Saraceni (4-14), Augusto Rangone (15-23) and Ferenc Molnar (24-34). Lazio came 8th in Group B and qualified for the following year's first ever single national league. Cevenini scored 6 league goals (Bologna, Cremonese, Pro Vercelli, Pistoiese, Verona, Cremonese). He also scored in the 2-2 playoff against Napoli for the last Serie A slot, but the game was then declared void as the format was expanded from 16 to 18 teams.


In the 1929-30 season, the first one group championship, Lazio finished 15th. The manager was Ferenc Molnar, at one point he was replaced by Pietro Piselli but then called back. Cevenini played 16 league games.


In 1930-31 Lazio fared better and finished 8th. First under Molnar (1-26), then Cesare Migliorini (26-31) and finally Amílcar (32-34). Cevenini played 22 league games and scored 5 goals (Bologna, Genova 1893, Alessandria, a winner against Juventus, Triestina). Lazio managed to draw both derbies against Roma.


The 1931-32 season would be his last in Rome. Under player manager, Brazilian Amílcar, Lazio finished 13th. Cevenini only played 3 league games.


He ended his career in Pisa where he played one more season in the "Prima Divisione" (third tier).


He retired at 32 and had some experiences as a manager. Between 1935 and 1937 he coached Squadra Italia in Tunisia, several amateur teams in the Rome area and Orvietana in 1946-47.


Cevenini V was a forward. He was 1.72 and 75 kilos, so sturdy physically. He had a satisfactory career playing for both his hometown teams and winning a Scudetto with Novese.


At Lazio he played a total of 70 games with 16 goals over five seasons. He helped Lazio qualify and play in the first historic single league Serie A. He is also in the select group of having scored a winner against Juventus. More than enough to be remembered for.


Carlo Cevenini V died on January 9, 1965 in Rome.


Lazio Career

Seasons

Total appearances (goals)

National Division

Serie A

Coppa Coni

1927-28

11 (4)

7 (2)

-

4 (2)

1928-29

19 (7)

19 (7)

-

-

1929-30

15

-

15

-

1930-31

22 (5)

-

22 (5)

-

1931-32

3

-

3

-

Total

70 (16)

26 (9)

40 (5)

4 (2)

Sources



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