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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

June 27, 1937: Lazio Hungaria 3-2, Central European Cup

Lazio through despite Magyar comeback


Lazio go 3-0 up and then resist visitors fight back




Source Lazio Wiki

The season so far


The previous season Lazio had finished 7th, first under Czech Walter Alt (1-27) and then Hungarian József Viola. Top scorer was Silvio Piola with 21 goals (19 in Serie A).

 

This year the Magyar coach Viola was kept on. The main new signings were midfielder Luigi Milano (Alessandria) and forwards Umberto Busani (Alessandria), Giovanni Costa (Vicenza) and Giovanni Riccardi (Alessandria).

 

Leaving were midfielders Attilio Ferraris IV (Bari), Francesco Gabriotti (retiring), Odoacre Pardini (retiring) and forwards Antonio Bisigato (Ambrosiana Inter), Anfilogino "Filó" Guarisi (Corinthians) and Virgilio Felice Levratto (Savona).

 

The season had been extremely positive and Lazio had finished 2nd behind Bologna. The Biancocelesti had won 17 (including Milan 3-0, Juventus 1-0, Inter 1-0 at home, Napoli 5-3 away), drawn 5 and lost 8. Top scorer of Serie A was Piola with 21 league goals.

 

Now it was time for the Central European Cup. A prestigious tournament which this year saw teams from seven nations take part: Italy, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Switzerland, Yugoslavia and Romania. This season 16 teams were participating including Italian champions Bologna and winners of the Coppa Italia, Genoa.

 

Lazio had already played one game. On June 13 they had drawn the away leg against Hungária MTK 1-1 (Piola, Cseh).

 

Today was the return match for a place in the quarter finals.

 

Hungária MTK were Hungarian Champions. They had won the league ahead of Ferncvárosi. This was the club from Budapest's 15th Nemzeti Bajnokság I title. The top scorer was László Cseh with 36 league goals.

 

A difficult game today for Lazio against quality opposition.

 

The match: Sunday, June 27, 1937, Stadio PNF, Rome


A 5.30 pm kick-off saw a big crowd gather in north Rome, about 35,000.

 

Lazio looked determined to wrap the game up early and attacked furiously. The Romans took the lead immediately. Silvio Piola received the ball just outside the area, slightly to the left of the semi-circle and he blasted a shot which went into the top hand corner on the far post. A magnificent goal which sent the crowd wild. Lazio 1 Hungaria 0.

 

The Magyars reacted and started to control the midfield. Luckily for Lazio the end product was not as efficient as the build-up, although Giacomo Blason did have to make a couple good saves.

 

Lazio were still dangerous on the break and in the 39th minute scored again. A prolonged move on the right was suddenly transferred to the middle where Piola was lurking unmarked, the Piedmontese striker took the ball forward and wrongfooted the keeper putting the ball in the opposite corner. The Hungarians appealed for an offside position but the referee, after consulting the linesman, gave the goal. Lazio 2 Hungaria 0 at half time.

 

In the second half, after four minutes, Lazio appeared to have closed the game. Giovanni Costa raced down the left wing, cut inside and sent an unstoppable low shot into the corner of the net. Lazio 3 Hungaria 0.

 

The game seemed over but the visitors reshuffled the attack moving Cseh to centre-forward, Heinrich Muller to the right and Istvan Kardos to the left and started to attack again.

 

In the 58th minute László Cseh picked up a through ball from Muller, swerved past a few defenders and hit a medium height shot past Blason. Lazio 3 Hungaria 1.

 

The game now became end to end with both teams having opportunities. It was the Hungarians however who scored again. In the 70th minute on a high ball into the area Blason jumped up but was beaten to it by Cseh and it went over the keeper and into the goal, despite a desperate attempt by Alfredo Monza to clear it before it went over the line. Lazio 3 Hungaria 2. What seemed like a formality for Lazio was now completely open.

 

In the last 20 minutes anything could have happened. Piola hit a post, Kardos shaved it, Umberto Busani missed a good opportunity and Blason then pulled off a miraculous save. The final whistle came, much to Lazio's relief. Lazio 3 Hungaria 2.

 

Lazio had been superior in the first half and the Magyars in the second. The visitors had an excellent midfield and a top striker in László Cseh and could well have drawn the game. Lazio started well but tired also probably due to the frequent recent train trips to and from the Balkans (13 June Budapest, June 21 Belgrade for a friendly) but held on for an important win against quality opposition.

 

Next up Grasshoppers from Switzerland in the quarter finals.

 

Who played for Lazio


Manager: Viola

 

Who played for Hungária


Szabo, Kiss, Biro, Sebes, Turay, Dudas, Sas, Cseh, Kardos, Muller, Titkos

 

Referee: Wuttrich (Switzerland)


Goals: 1' Piola, 39' Piola, 49' Costa, 58' Cseh, 70' Cseh

 

What happened next


Lazio played Swiss club Grasshoppers from Zurich next in the quarter finals. The game in Rome saw Lazio dominate and win 6-1 with a Piola hat-trick while the return game was narrowly won 3-2 by the Hoppers.

 

Lazio were through to the semi-finals but had no opposition. Their potential rivals, Genoa and Admira Wacker had both been banned from the tournament. The first leg in Vienna had seen anti-Italian political demonstrations and the Italian Home Minister refused to let the return leg go ahead. At this point the organisers of the tournament kicked both teams out and promoted Lazio directly to the final.

 

The other finalist was Hungarian Ferencváros. They too were from Budapest and had won 13 league titles. The Magyars had eliminated Slavia Prague 5-3 on aggregate, First Vienna FC in a playoff 2-1 (after 2-2 on aggregate) and FK Austria 7-5 on aggregate. Their manager was Emil Rauuchmaul.

 

In the first leg in Budapest, on September 12, the home side won 4-2 in front of 30,000 spectators with a György Sárosi hat-trick while Lazio responded with Busani and Piola.

 

In Rome, on October 24, the Hungarians won again 5-4. Lazio were winning 4-2 but the Magyars proved too good and came back to win. Top scorer of the tournament was Sárosi with 12 goals while Piola got 10.


Lazio 1936-37

Competition

Played

Won

Drawn

Lost

Goals scored

Serie A

30

17

5

8

56

Coppa Italia

1

-

-

1

-

Central European Cup

4

2

1

1

12

Total

35

19

6

10

68

Top appearances

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Central European Cup

Baldo

35

30

1

4

Busani

34

29

1

4

Monza

34

30

-

4

Zacconi

34

30

-

4

Top five goal scorers

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Central European Cup

Piola

28

21

-

7

Busani

17

15

-

2

Costa

5

4

-

1

Riccardi

5

5

-

-

Camolese

4

4

-

-

Let's talk about the Mitropa Cup


Source Wikipedia

The cup started in 1927 and was known as the Central European Cup. It was the brainchild of Austrian Hugo Meisl, general secretary of the ÖFB (Austrian Football Federation). It is also known as the Mitropa Cup (from German Mitteleuropa - Central Europe).

 

The forerunner of this competition was the Challenge Cup which took place for clubs in the Austro-Hungarian Empire which de facto were those from Budapest, Prague and Vienna. It first took place in 1897-98 and continued every year until 1905 and then just sporadically until 1911. The Viennese clubs won every Cup with the exception of the 1908-09 one, which was won by Ferencvaros.

 

After the first world war and the collapse of the Empire, the idea that a similar competition should continue never left the former nations of the Austro-Hungary Empire. With the introduction of professional leagues, and since these teams were the strongest in Europe at the time, on July 17, 1927 the Mitropa Cup was launched. In the first two editions two teams from Austria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Yugoslavia participated.

 

In 1929 Italian teams replaced the Yugoslav ones.

 

In 1934 the teams from each nation became four, while in 1936 four Swiss clubs were added.

 

In 1937 the teams were reduced to three to make space for Romanian clubs and a return of Yugoslavian participation.

 

In 1938 the Austrian clubs dropped out due to the annexation by Germany. The new format was therefore four clubs each from Italy, Hungary and Czechoslovakia.

 

In 1939 only eight clubs took part and in 1940 the tournament was abandoned before the final due to the worsening of the war situation.

 

Before the war the tournament had been extremely prestigious. These were its glory days and it could almost be compared to the later European Cup. In fact, the Mitropa Cup and the Latin Cup of the 1950's were basically the precursors of the European Cup. The Hungarians, Czechs, Italians and Austrians had the best clubs and Italy also won the World Cups of 1934 and 1938. The only other really competitive clubs were the British but they still refused to play what they considered inferior opposition.

 

After the war, there were was an attempt to revamp the competition and it was named Zentropa Cup.

 

The Zentropa Cup wanted to compete with the other two cups that were being played at club level. The teams that participated were Rapid Wien, champions of Austria, Wacker, second, Dinamo Zagreb, fourth in the Yugoslavian league, and Lazio who had arrived fourth in Serie A.

 

After the war the cup was restarted in 1955. It was called the Mitropa Cup and it was by invitation only. The nations involved were Austria, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Hungary and Italy. From 1958 Romanian and Bulgarian clubs also played.

 

In 1966 it took on the European Cups' format and involved teams from mid-table who had not qualified for the three cups: European, Cup Winners and UEFA.

 

It therefore lost its importance and in 1979 changed format again. It became a tournament between clubs which had won their nation's second tier divisions.

 

Some big clubs won it, including A.C Milan. In 1989 a one-off Mitropa Supercup was organised between the winners of 1988 (Pisa) and the 1989 (Banik Ostrava).

 

The last edition was played in 1992.

 

Lazio in the Mitropa Cup

 

Lazio participated four times in the Mitropa Cup plus once in the non-official Zentropa Cup.

 

In 1937 they reached the final where they were beaten by Ferencvaros 9-6 on aggregate. In the 1951 Zentropa Cup they were beaten by both Rapid Wien and Dinamo Zagreb. Lazio reached the quarter finals in 1967, eliminated by Spartak Trnava, but in 1969 they were eliminated by Honvéd in the round of 16.

Year

Winner

Runner-up

1927

Sparta Prague

Rapid Wien

1928

Ferencváros

Rapid Wien

1929

Újpest FC

Slavia Prague

1930

Rapid Wien

Sparta Prague

1931

First Vienna

Wiener AC

1932

Bologna

-

1933

Austria Wien


1934

Bologna

Admira Wien

1935

Sparta Prague

Ferencváros

1936

Austria Wien

Sparta Prague

1937

Ferencváros

Lazio

1938

Slavia Prague

Ferencváros

1939

Újpest FC

Ferencváros

1940

Rapid București - Ferencváros (final not played)


1951 (as Zentropa Cup)

Rapid Wien

Admira Wien

1955

Vörös Lobogó

ÚDA Prague

1956

Vasas

Rapid Wien

1957

Vasas

Vojvodina

1958 (Danube Cup)

Red Star Belgrade

Rudá Hvezda Brno

1959

Honvéd

MTK

1960

Hungary

-

1961

Bologna

Slovan Nitra

1962

Vasas

Bologna

1963

MTK Budapest

Vasas

1964

Sparta Prague

Slovan Bratislava

1965

Vasas

Fiorentina

1966

Fiorentina

Jednota Trenčín

1966-67

Spartak Trnava

Újpesti Dózsa

1967-68

Red Star Belgrade

Spartak Trnava

1968-69

Inter Bratislava

Sklo Union Teplice

1969-70

Vasas

Inter Bratislava

1970-71

Čelik Zenica

Austria Salzburg

1971-72

Čelik Zenica

Fiorentina

1972-73

Tatabányai Bányász

Čelik Zenica

1973-74

Tatabányai Bányász

ZVL Zilina

1974-75

Wacker Innsbruck

Honvéd

1975-76

Wacker Innsbruck

Velež Mostar

1976–77

Vojvodina

Vasas

1977–78

Partizan

Honvéd

1979–80

Udinese

Čelik Zenica

1980–81

Tatran Prešov

Csepel SC

1981–82

Milan

TJ Vítkovice

1982–83

Vasas

ZVL Zilina

1983–84

SC Eisenstadt

Prishtina

1984–85

Iskra Bugojno

Atalanta

1985–86

Pisa

Debrecen

1986–87

Ascoli

Bohemians Prague

1987–88

Pisa

Váci Izzó

1988–89

Baník Ostrava

Bologna

1990

Bari

Genoa

1991

Torino

Pisa

1992

Borac Banja Luka

BVSC

Sources



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