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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

October 1, 1950: Torino Lazio 0-1

Updated: Oct 3, 2023

Höfling pounces on Toro blunder and gives Lazio win


A goal by Romanian striker twenty minutes from time, after a goalkeeper mistake, brings two good points back to Rome




The season so far


The previous season Lazio finished 4th in Serie A and participated in the prestigious Latin Cup (losing to Benfica and Atlético Madrid) due to Inter, Milan and Juventus players being involved in the 1950 World Cup.


In Serie A the manager was Mario Sperone and Lazio did well beating Roma 3-1 (the other derby was 0-0), Juventus 2-1 away, Milan 3-2 and Inter 3-2. Top scorer was Romanian Norberto Höfling with 13 league goals.


This season Sperone was back as manager (during the Latin Cup Alfredo Notti had taken over). The market had brought some new players; the main being defenders Stefano Malacarne (Salernitana) and Primo Sentimenti V (Bari). Leaving were defender Leandro Remondini (Napoli) plus forwards Ferenc Nyers II (Hungaria FbC Roma) and Romano Penzo (Fiorentina).


Lazio were hoping to do as well as the previous season but knew it would not be easy. So far, the Biancocelesti had won 1 (Pro Patria 4-2), drawn 1 (Inter 3-3) and lost 1 (Padova 0-2)


Torino finished 6th the previous season, under future Lazio manager Giuseppe Bigogno (Roberto Copernico was Technical Director and would also come to Lazio). Top scorer was Argentine Benjamín Santos with 27 league goals. This of course was the first season after the tragedy of Superga, when the whole Grande Torino team were killed in an air crash.


This season Bigogno was still manager with Copernico as TD. The main new players were keeper Emilio Buttarelli (Mortara), midfielder Kjell Rosén (Malmö FF) plus forwards Enrico Motta (Pro Lissone) and Johannes Pløger (Novara). Leaving were keeper Giuseppe Moro (Lucchese) plus forwards Pär Bengtsson (Nice) and Åke Hjalmarsson (Nice).


Torino had started the league well with 2 wins (Padova 2-1 and Sampdoria 3-1) and 1 draw (Fiorentina 3-3). Santos had already scored 5 goals.


Torino were slight favourites today and were unbeaten at home since November 1949 but Lazio were a good team and fancied their chances.


The match: Sunday October 1, 1950, Stadio Filadelfia, Turin


A nice, sunny day in the "Città della Mole" (The Mole Antonelliana landmark) gathered a crowd of 35,000 at the old Filadelfia.


Torino had a key player missing as their prolific striker Santos was not available.


Torino started strongly but Lazio's defence was solid as a rock. The Biancocelesti resisted Toro's pressure with a perfect team effort, with Malacarne and Mido Bimbi excelling on the flanks.


The first half was extremely balanced which was already good news in itself for the visitors.


The deadlock was in the end broken by a blunder by Torino and a stroke of luck for Lazio. In the 69th minute the Torino keeper Dante Piani in an attempt to throw the ball out managed to hit his foot, the ball arrived to an unmarked Höfling who ran forward and, helped by Piani then slipping, slotted it in. Torino 0 Lazio 1.


Torino then had three colossal chances to salvage a point. In the 81st minute Kjell Rosen was fouled in the area and a penalty given, he took it himself but missed. Soon after Johannes Plöger devoured a good opportunity and then, in the dying minutes, Rosen hit the crossbar. Final score Torino 0 Lazio 1.


Lazio had put on an impressive defensive performance and helped by a dose of luck come away with an important win.


Who played for Torino


Piani, Bersia, Grava, Rosen, Nay, Gremese, Onorato, Giraudo, Motta, Plöger, Carapellese

Manager: Bigogno


Who played for Lazio


Manager: Sperone


Referee: Longagnani


Goals: 69' Höfling


What happened next


Lazio had another good season. They finished 4th again and won both derbies. The Biancocelesti won 18 (including Torino 3-0 at home and Milan 2-1 away), drew 10 and lost 10. Top scorer was Höfling again with 11 league goals.


Torino went on to have a poor season. The Granata finished 17th, after 9 wins, 12 draws and 17 defeats and narrowly escaped relegation. Top scorer was Santos with 14 league goals.


The Scudetto was won by Milan for their 4th title. The two teams sliding down a level were Genoa and Roma (the first Roman team to be relegated to Serie B).


Lazio 1950-51

Competition

Played

Won

Drawn

Lost

Goals scored

Serie A

38

18

10

10

64

Zentropa Cup

2

-

-

2

-

Totale

40

18

10

12

64

Top five appearances

Player

Total

Serie A

Zentropa Cup

Puccinelli

40

38

2

40

38

2

Alzani

38

36

2

35

33

2

Antonazzi

33

31

2

Hofling

33

33

-

Top five goal scorers

Player

Serie A

Hofling

11

10

Puccinelli

9

9

Sentimenti V

7

Arce

7

Let’s talk about Norberto Höfling


Norberto Höfling is the first on the right standing. Source WIkipedia


Norberto Höfling was a Romanian Jew born in Chernivtsi (modern day Ukraine), on June 24, 1924.


He started playing football for local teams Dinamo Chernivtsi, Carmen Bucharest, Ciocanul (former Maccabi Bucharest) and then in Hungary for MTK Budapest.


He scored a lot of goals and was signed by Lazio in January 1949. He made 10 appearances with one goal (Torino) and the Biancocelesti came 13th. The manager was Mario Sperone who had substituted Orlando Tognotti after 10 games. In his second season the Lazio finished 4th and won one derby 3-1 and drew the other 0-0. Höfling played 29 games and scored 13 goals (Bari x2, Novara x3, Lucchese x2, Como x3, Bologna x2, Torino) and 1 game in the Latin Cup.


In 1950-51 Lazio came 4th again. They won both derbies and away to Milan. Höfling played 33 league games and scored 11 goals (Pro Patria, Torino, Udinese, Fiorentina, Novara, Padova, Udinese, Lucchese, Palermo, Bologna x2). A positive two seasons at Lazio cut short by his bad relationship with fellow striker Dionisio Arce, Lazio resolved it by selling them both.


In 1951 he joined Pro Patria and Lelio Antoniotti came the other way. Höfling stayed four seasons, the first two in Serie A, the third in B and the fourth in A. His managers were Mario Varglien, Cesare Pellegatta, Giacinto Ellena (1-31) and Luigi Rossetto (32-34 plus the playoff) in his third year and Rossetto again (1-14) and Imre Senkey (15-34) in his last season. With the "Tigrotti" (The Little Tigers) from Busto Arsizio he scored 20 goals in Serie A (including 1 against Lazio and Roma) and 11 in B in a total of 119 league games.


In 1955 he left and joined Vicenza in Serie A. Hofling only played 9 league games with 1 goal, under first Béla Guttman and then Piero Andreoli. The "Lane" finished 13th.


At 32 he retired and at 33 he was already coaching in Belgium at Club Bruges. He stayed with the "Blauw en Zwart (The Blue and Blacks) for six seasons. In 1959 he got them promoted to the top flight, where they have been ever since.


In 1963 he spent a season in Holland with Feyenoord. "De club van het folk" (The people's club) finished 4th.


He then returned to Belgium and was with Racing White Molenbeek for three seasons from 1964-67. In his first "Les Coalisés" (The Coalitions - with Racing Club de Bruxelles in 1963) won promotion and then finished 11th and 13th.


In 1967 he was back at Club Bruges for a season and finished 2nd but won the Belgian Cup defeating Beerschot on penalties.


In 1968 he moved to Brussels and joined Anderlecht but was soon sacked. In the end "Les Mauves et Blanc" (The Violet and Whites) finished 4th.


In 1969 he stayed in the capital but joined Daring Brussels in Division 2. "Les Daringmen" finished 3rd and reached the final of the Belgian Cup but lost 1-6 to Club Bruges.


In 1970 Daring merged and became Royal Daring Club Molenbeek and finished 10th in Division 2.


In 1972 he moved to Oostende. He took them from the Derde Klasse (third tier) to Division 1 over three seasons but then fell out with their directors and left.


In 1975 he moved to Gent in Division 2 but left after a year and a 12th position.


After a few years break he took on the job at Pro Patria in C2. The Biancoblu finished 13th but he laid the foundations for the following year's promotion. He then spent a year as Sporting Director before returning to Belgium.


An interesting and long career as player and then manager. Hofling was a striker and always scored goals wherever he went. He proved himself in Serie A with Lazio and Pro Patria scoring 45 goals in the top flight.


At Lazio he was a success and was their top scorer for two consecutive seasons in a positive period for the Romans with two 4th places.


Hofling died in Bruges on April 18, 2005.


Lazio Career

Season

Total appearances (goals)

Serie A

Latin Cup

1948-49

10 (1)

10 (1)

-

1949-50

30 (13)

29 (13)

1

1950-51

33 (11)

33 (1)

-

Total

73 (25)

72 (25)

1

Sources


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