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  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten

June 8, 1986: Catanzaro Lazio 2-3

Updated: Oct 16, 2023

Safe!!!


Thanks to the first away win of the season, Lazio leave any possibility of relegation behind them


Source Wikipedia

The season so far


The 1984-85 season had seen Lazio relegated to Serie B. This meant that there had to be a revolution in the team to sign players that could adapt to the new circumstances. President Giorgio Chinaglia, keen to amend the disastrous season where he had made many mistakes, chose Gigi Simoni as manager. Simoni had been able to help promote Genoa (twice) and Brescia to Serie A plus Pisa the year before, so he was considered the best possible manager for Lazio.


As far as players are concerned, goodbye Bruno Giordano, Lionello Manfredonia, Joao Batista, Michael Laudrup among many, and welcome Domenico Caso, Giuliano Fiorini, Fabio Poli, Roberto Galbiati, Giorgio Magnocavallo and Astutillo Malgioglio.


But there was a big financial problem. Chinaglia was sure he would get money from the US but this did not happen and he was forced to step down as President in December 1985. The new president, Franco Chimenti, could not sustain the financial commitment alone so he started looking for partners. Giorgio and Gian Marco Calleri arrived and helped out so at least a part of wage debt could be paid off.


Meanwhile the team was not doing well. Financial insecurity and injuries were not helping. Out of the Coppa Italia early, in Serie B, despite being one the favourites on paper, the situation was not looking good. At home Lazio did not do too badly but away from home the results were terrible. At the end of the first half of the season Lazio were 10th, three points away from the promotion zone. The last boat for Serie A was against Vicenza at home on March 2. They went two goals up, then 3-2 but lost due to a mistake by Malgioglio. The goalkeeper, who had not played a good season, after the umpteenth insult from fans, took off his jersey and spat on it. Not a good idea. He was sacked.


Back at the club things were not going any better. Chimenti made the mistake of confirming Simoni for another year without telling his new partners. The Calleri brothers backed out of Lazio and asked for their money back. Chimenti tried to look for new investors but found none. Lazio was bust.


At this point, the Calleri’s came back but they did not want to do it alone. Renato Bocchi, a Parma born entrepreneur who had always lived in Rome, came in and bought 51% of the club with the other 49% left to the Calleri brothers. Lazio was saved.


In the ten games after the match against Vicenza, Lazio won just one and had not scored a goal in the last four matches. They were 14th together with Pescara, Perugia and Palermo, one point ahead of Sambenedettese and two above Catanzaro.


The situation was desperate. The next game was against Catanzaro who needed to win to keep their hopes alive. Lazio desperately needed to wake up.


The match: Sunday June 8, 1986, Stadio Comunale, Catanzaro


In the first minute of play Catanzaro had the chance to open the score but Antonio Soda’s header was too lame. In the 2nd minute Lazio scored. Oliviero Garlini was just a fraction too late on a suicidal pass back to the Catanzaro goalkeeper. Play continued, ball to Fabio Poli who crossed, Raffaele Di Fusco punched the ball directly at Viviano Guida, 1-0 for Lazio.


A minute later Catanzaro equalised. Carmelo Bagnato crossed from the left, Vittorio Cozzella jumped higher than Fabio Calcaterra and Mario Ielpo could not do anything to stop the ball going in.


Corner for Lazio in the 13th minute, Poli crossed, Massimo Piscedda and Garlini jumped for the ball but it became a pass to Domenico Caso, shot in the left hand corner and Lazio back in front.


Catanzaro attacked but unconvincingly. In the 27th minute Caso passed to Gabriele Podavini who flew down the right and once inside the box beat Di Fusco for Lazio’s third. At the end of the first half Garlini had a chance to make it four but missed from a favourable position.


Catanzaro had more possession in the second half too but sterile and Lazio controlled the game easily until the 66th minute. Usual cross from Bagnato and this time it was Ezio Panero to score.


Catanzaro attacked, Lazio had a couple of wasted chances again with Garlini but managed to bring home the two points without too much panic. Lazio were safe. It was the first win away from home since March 6 1983, 1-0 at Cremona.


Who played for Catanzaro


Di Fusco, Guida, Cascione, Masi, Iacobelli (31' Costantino), Panero, C.Bagnato, Borrello, Soda, Brondi, Cozzella (46' Surro).

Substitutes: Ceriello, Imbrogia, Conà

Manager: Lionetti.


Who played for Lazio


Ielpo, Podavini, Calcaterra, Galbiati, Filisetti, Piscedda, Torrisi (84’ Vinazzani), Fonte (13’ G. Carillo), Poli, Caso, Garlini

Substitutes: Carlini, Toti, G. Damiani

Manager: Simoni


Referee: Lanese


Goals: 2’ Guida (og), 5’ Cozzella, 18’ Caso, 27’ Podavini, 66’ Panero



What happened next


In the last match of the season Lazio beat Brescia 4-2. It was the last Lazio game for many players including fan favourite Vincenzo D’Amico.


A difficult year for Lazio. Oliviero Garlini was the player with most appearances (43) and the top scorer (18).


There was hope for the future but dark clouds were already looming over Lazio.


Lazio 1985-86

Competition

Played

Won

Drawn

Lost

Goals scored

Serie B

38

11

14

13

38

Coppa Italia

5

2

3

-

5

Total

43

13

17

13

43

Top five appearances

Player

Total

Serie B

Coppa Italia

Garlini

43

38

5

39

34

5

Calcaterra

37

33

4

Galbiati

35

30

5

Vinazzani

35

30

5

Top goal scorers

Player

Total

Serie B

Coppa Italia

Garlini

18

18

-

Caso

5

4

1

Fiorini

5

3

2

Podavini

3

2

1

Let’s talk about Domenico Caso


Source Wikipedia

Domenico Caso, better known as Mimmo, is one of the Lazio heroes of the -9 Serie B championship. Great midfield player, at the beginning of his career he was a right winger, but later on was made playmaker in front of the defence.


Caso was born in Eboli, near Salerno, on May 9, 1954. He started his career in the youth teams of Fiorentina and debuted in Serie A on October 29 1972. He stayed six years in Florence and won a Coppa Italia in 1975.


In 1978 he signed for Napoli but it was not a successful year for him and he only played 15 games. In 1979 he moved to Milan to play for Inter. He stayed two years, won a scudetto in his first and changed role, from right wing to playmaker.


In 1981 he signed for Perugia in Serie B and stayed two seasons. He then moved to Turin and played for Torino in Serie A for another couple of years. These would be his last in Serie A.


In 1985 he signed for Lazio in Serie B and saw it all, from hell to heaven. During his three years in Rome he saw it all. Mimmo Caso went from being favourites for promotion under Giorgio Chinaglia to financial collapse and almost Serie C. And this was only his first year. In his second, the club was financially recovering but was penalised 9 points for an alleged involvement in match fixing. The team managed to do well but then physically and mentally collapsed towards the end of the season. At seven minutes from the end of the last game against Vicenza, Lazio were virtually in Serie C. Then Giuliano Fiorini scored and the Biancocelesti managed to get to a playout with Campobasso and Taranto. After losing to the latter due to a goal in blatant offside, they beat Campobasso with a Fabio Poli goal and avoided relegation. In 1987-88 Lazio finally reached the agonised promotion to Serie A.


Interviewed in 2013, Caso remembers the eve of the game against Vicenza. “Fiorini and I shared the room and we could not sleep due to the tension. We chatted until 7 in the morning with the Doctor, Alfredo Carfagni ”.


Caso played 94 games in Serie B with 7 goals and 16 in Coppa Italia with 1 goal.


After Lazio, Caso signed for Latina in Serie C2 and played his last season in 1989-90 for Orceana again in the fourth tier.


Domenico Caso in between Alessandro Nesta (left) and Marco Di Vaio (right). Source Wikipedia

Once Caso stopped playing he became a manager and was in charge of Fiorentina youth teams. In 1992 he became the manager of the Lazio primavera and was very successful. In 1995 he won a scudetto and launched the careers, amongst many others, of Alessandro Nesta, Marco Di Vaio and Flavio Roma. He had a serious health problem in the victorious year but managed to beat the cancer.


In 1997 he ventured to Foggia as head coach in Serie B but could not avoid relegation. His other experiences at Chievo and Pistoiese also did not go well. In 2002 he was called to be head coach of the Italian Under-18 Nazionale and a year later went back to Lazio as manager of the Primavera team.


Following the financial crisis of 2004, Claudio Lotito became president. He inherited a team with no manager and few players. The team was temporarily given to Mimmo Caso for the pre-season training in Japan. Lazio had to fulfil a contract so off they went. In Japan Caso got on well with the players (and he was also cheap), so Lotito confirmed him. The beginning of the season was problematic. Lazio were clearly in difficulty: badly organized, no game plan, problems between Caso and Paolo Di Canio and poor quality of some of the players. Lazio immediately lost the Super Coppa final against Milan, but they did manage to pass the UEFA Cup playoff against Metalurh Donetsk and reach the group stage, only to fail without winning a game. In Serie A things did not go well. In 16 games Lazio won four, drew five and lost seven. They had 17 points, just four clear of relegation zone. Caso was fired and replaced by Giuseppe Papadopulo.


In 2006 he was called as manager for Ternana but could not avoid their relegation to Serie C. He then managed youth teams of Cisco Roma, Voluntas Spoleto, Virtus Lanciano and Reggina.


Mimmo Caso was a great player and probably deserved more. He will forever be remembered at Lazio as one of the -9 heroes and for giving a great contribution to the return to Serie A.


Lazio Career

Season

Total appearances (goals)

Serie B

Serie B Playouts

Coppa Italia

1985-86

34 (5)

29 (4)

-

5 (1)

1986-87

47 (3)

38 (3)

2

7

1987-88

29

25

-

4

Total

110 (8)

92 (7)

2

16 (1)

Sources



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