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  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten

May 10, 1925: Lazio Anconitana 6-3

Magnificent comeback


2-0 down after just 20 minutes, the Biancocelesti score six and overtake Anconitana in the table




Source Lazio Wiki

The season so far


In 1924-25, and earlier years, there was no Serie A as we know it today. Football in Italy was played regionally with a Northern League and a Southern one. There were two groups in the northern league, the winners of which would meet in the final and whoever won that would then play with the winner of the southern league.


The Southern League was organised differently. There were four groups representing teams in Campania (four teams), Lazio (five teams), Sicily (two teams) and Apulia (six teams) and then Marche that sent a single team straight to the semi-final stage. The top two of Campania, Lazio and Apulia would meet the Marche and Sicilian team in two semi-final groups. The winners of these two groups would then meet in a southern league final. The previous season, which had the same formula, had seen a chaotic finish.


In the Southern Group, Lazio had arrived second behind Alba together with Fortitudo. As a consequence, a play-off was needed to determine which of the two would join Alba in the Interregional Southern Semi-final Group. The Biancocelesti beat Fortitudio 2-0 and joined Anconitana, Ideale Bari and Savoia.


But there was chaos. The final standings had been Savoia 8 points, Lazio 7, Ideale Bari 5, Anconitana 4. So Savoia were to play Alba in the championship semi-final. But there had been a problem. On June 1, 1924, there was supposed to be the match between Savoia and Ideale Bari but the game could not take place because there was a military festival on the pitch. The Directory of the Southern League had then decided that the game could be played on June 22 and Ideale lost 7-1. But the Apulian side decided to appeal against the verdict with the Italian Federation, requesting a 2-0 victory because the original game could not take place. And they won!!! Hence the standings became Lazio and Ideale 7 points, Savoia 6 and Anconitana 5.


Lazio and Ideale at this point had to have a play off to determine who would play the semi-final and Lazio won in extra time. But a second decision, in favour of Savoia, reversed the decision and Lazio missed out.


This season the Biancocelesti managed to arrive second in the Lazio Group so qualifying for the semi-final group stage where they were paired with Anconitana, Savoia and Pro Italia. Lazio had lost the first game against Anconitana away and won the next two. The table read: Anconitana 5, Lazio 4, Pro Italia 2, Savoia 1. This game against Anconitana was a must win match for the Biancocelesti if they wanted to go through to the Southern league final.


The match: Sunday, May 10, 1925, Campo della Rondinella, Rome


After twenty minutes it seemed that Lazio’s quest for a place in the Southern League final was all over. Two fantastic goals by Bakony, the first in the 15th minute and the second five minutes later, had given Anconitana an important lead but at that point, manager Dezső Kőszegi decided to move Fulvio Bernardini forward and Odoacre Pardini a little back and this tactical shuffle changed the momentum of the game. Lazio scored six goals: three by Antonio Vojak, irresistible, spectacular, powerful, two by Bernardini, who had finally returned to the form he was well known for, and one by Alfredo Cattaneo whose game was nothing short of outstanding.


With three minutes to the end of the match, the referee, up until then enjoying the game and hardly ever intervening, decided to award Anconitana a penalty and Bakony scored his hat-trick.


Big change at the top of the group B table which now read: Lazio 6 points, Anconitana 5, Savoia 3, Pro Italia 2.


Who played for Lazio

 

Sclavi, Saraceni II, Fiorini, Nesi, Pardini, Parboni, Fraschetti, Filippi, Bernardini, Vojak, Cattaneo

Manager: Koszegi

 

Who played for Anconitana


Bugari, Rossi III, Marchini, Chiatti, Montini, Barbini, Tenenti, Marinari, Bakony, Panzone, Rossi IV

 

Referee: Senes

 

Goals: 15’ Bakony, 20’ Bakony, 33’ Bernardini, 37’ Vojak, 56’ Vojak, 63’ Bernardini, 64’ Cattaneo, 68’ Vojak, 87’ Bakony (pen)

 

What happened next


Lazio arrived joint first with Anconitana. As a consequence, there was a play off for the final which the Biancocelesti lost. The Marchigiani then lost the final of the Southern League against Alba who in turn were defeated in the national final by Bologna. It was Bologna’s first scudetto.


The players with most appearances were Ezio Sclavi, Fulvio Bernardini (top scorer with 15 goals), Aldo Fraschetti and Carlo Nesi who played 15 games.


Lazio 1924-25

Competition

Played

Won

Drawn

Lost

Goals scored

National Championship

16

8

3

5

33

Top Appearances

Player

Total

Bernardini

15

Fraschetti

15

Sclavi

15

Nesi

15

Top goal scorers

Player

Total

Bernardini

15

Vojak

8

Fraschetti

3

Filippi

2

Let's talk about Antonio Vojak


Source Lazio Wiki

Antonio Vojak was born in Pola on November 19, 1904. Due to the anti-Slavic laws in Italy during the fascist era, he was forced to change his name to Vogliacco. When he was born, Pola was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire but by the time he started playing football, he was Italian. He began in his hometown team Grion Pola with whom he also played one match in goal.


In 1924 he signed for Lazio. He had been noticed by Ezio Sclavi while he was doing his military service in Rome. He was a powerful and courageous centre forward, a big athlete for the time. Once he finished with the military he could have stayed in Rome, but at that time Lazio were still amateurs, so he preferred to make a living elsewhere. He hence stayed just one year making 10 appearances with 8 goals. He was spotted by Juventus and signed for them the following year. He played four years for the Bianconeri, winning a scudetto in 1925-26, playing 105 games with 47 goals.


For the first Serie A championship, he moved to Naples and became an idol. His 102 goals in six years of Serie A was the record number of goals for Napoli until Dries Mertens overtook him on November 21, 2021. He was also the record man for the Neapolitan team for the highest number of goals scored in a single Serie A tournament, 22, beaten by Edison Cavani in 2010-11. He stayed in Naples until 1935 when he signed for Genoa 1893. But his career was moving towards the end and he stayed just one year in Liguria before moving to Lucca for another season where he however only played one game.


His final years of active football were in Serie C with Italo Gambacciani Empoli (where he was also manager) and Stabia.


Vojak played one game for the Nazionale, in Naples against Switzerland on February 14 1932. Italy won 3-0. He won more caps for the Nazionale B, two as a Juventus player and four as a Napoli one.


When he stopped playing he became a manager. He was head coach of many minor teams with the exception of Napoli, where he was manager from 1940 to 1943.


He died in Varese on May 9, 1975.


Lazio Career

Season

Appearances National Championship

Goals National Championship

1924-25

10

8

Sources


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