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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

Lazio edge win and now for their appointment with history

Updated: Apr 1

Game 1, Serie A

Sunday, September 21, 1958

Stadio Olimpico, Rome

Lazio Sampdoria 1-0

A hard fought 1-0 win on their debut and a few days before the cup final

Source Wikipedia

It was still hot in Rome despite it being almost Autumn. A crowd of 40,000 came out for Lazio's league debut.

The first shot of the game came from a long range effort by Ugo Pozzan but without luck. Sampdoria responded with a solo run by Giovanni Bolzoni who was unceremoniously pulled down by Franco Janich. In the 10th minute Lazio keeper Bob Lovati had to flick a powerful Aurelio Milani strike onto the crossbar.

In the 14th minute came a potential game changer as Sampdoria's prolific striker Milani got injured and was temporarily forced off.

Lazio took courage with an extra man and in the 22nd minute a Pozzan shot was touched by Humberto Tozzi and changed direction, the Sampdoria keeper Ugo Rosin had already dived but he reacted well and got an arm to it. The ball then fell to Tozzi but he put it wide.

In the 24th minute Milani came back on but looked worse for wear and out of sorts.

In the 28th minute Lazio went ahead. There was a scramble in the Blucerchiato area and the quickest to react was Maurilio Prini whose volley lacked strength but caught Rosin unawares and found the net. Lazio 1 Sampdoria 0.

Sampdoria responded strongly, forcing a series of corners. In the 38th minute however Milani was definitely ruled out of the game with his previous injury, a big blow to the visitors. They ended the first half on the attack however and forced Lovati to rush off his line and dive low on a Bolzoni incursion. Halftime Lazio 1 Sampdoria 0.

For the second half Monzeglio pushed his midfielders slightly forward while Manager Fulvio Bernardini pulled Pozzan and Franco Carradori slightly back. A sign of things to come.

The first chance however was for the Biancocelesti. Egidio Fumagalli raced towards goal but was anticipated by Rosin with a flying punch of the ball, it then fell to Pozzan who had a shot on the unguarded goal but a last ditch clearance on the line by Benito Sarti saved the day for the visitors.

From then on it was all Sampdoria. It may have been a tactical move by Lazio who needed to save some energy for their imminent big cup game but as it was they defended for the remainder of the game.

In the 55th minute the Blucerchiati went close when Bolzoni's crisp strike hit the post although Lovati looked as if he had it covered. In the 58th minute Tito Cucchiaroni dribbled past four defenders but then fired high. In the 60th minute Lovati misjudged a high ball but Giuseppe Recagno couldn't hit the unguarded goal.

Having come out unscathed from these worrying five minutes Lazio closed ranks and tightened their defence even more making it increasingly difficult for the Sampdoriani to cause problems. Cucchiaroni continued to cause havoc but the Doriani lacked weight up front. They had one last big chance in the dying minutes when an unmarked Ernest Ocwirk turned in the area from a Recagno assist but put the ball well wide. Final score Lazio 1 Sampdoria 0.

An unspectacular but important win for Lazio. The Biancocelesti had been favoured by Milani's injury and seemingly dosed their energies in the second half and hung on for the two points. Sampdoria had probably deserved a draw but with ten men for much of the game and against Lazio's tight defence it was an uphill battle. Their funambulist Cucchiaroni however was applauded off the field for having entertained the crowd.

Lazio could now turn their attention to their appointment with history on Wednesday.

Who played for Lazio

Manager: Bernardini

Who played for Sampdoria

Rosin, Vincenzi, Sarti, Bergamaschi, Bernasconi, Vicini, Bolzoni, Ocwirk, Milani, Recagno, Cucchiaroni

Manager: Monzeglio

Referee: Angelini

Goals: 28' Prini



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