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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

October 11, 1959: Lazio Vicenza 2-1

Rozzoni dream debut gives Lazio win despite late scare


A well-deserved victory for Lazio who survive Vicenza's late revival to earn the two points



The season so far


The previous season Lazio had finished 11th under Fulvio Bernardini. The Biancocelesti had however won their first ever trophy, the Coppa Italia, beating Fiorentina 1-0. Top scorer was Humberto Tozzi with 26 goals (14 in A)


This season "Fuffo" Bernardini was still manager but due to financial difficulties not much had been done on the transfer market. The only important signing was Orlando Ronzoni from SPAL while leaving were defender Umberto Pinardi (Udinese), midfielders Luigi Moltrasio (Young Fellows Zurich) and Carlo Tagnin (Bari) plus forward Renzo Burini (Cesena).


So far Lazio had got off to a satisfactory start in the league. They had earned two 1-1 away draws (Bologna and Inter) and beaten Udinese at home.


Vicenza the previous year had finished 7th under Roberto Lerici. The Biancorossi had beaten Lazio and Juventus twice plus Roma, Inter and Milan. Top scorers were Renzo Cappellaro and Giulio Savoini with 10 league goals.


This season the "Lane" (Lanerossi Vicenza is their full name) continued with Lerici and their top strikers but had also added forward Oliviero Conti, back from Sampdoria.


So far things were not going as well this season. The Berici had lost three out of three (Juventus 1-4 away, SPAL 1-2 away and Milan 1-2 at home).


A seemingly in form Lazio against a low on confidence Vicenza. A good opportunity for the Romans to take advantage of theoretically superior opposition.


The match: Sunday, October 11, 1959, Stadio Flaminio, Rome


An almost capacity crowd at the small Flaminio stadium across the river from the Olimpico, with 25,000 spectators.


It was Orlando Rozzoni's home debut so there was curiosity to see the new signing.


Lazio started on the attack; it was nevertheless Vicenza who threatened first. Brugnoli put in a dangerous cross but Cappellaro arrived just short. Lazio answered with a thundering shot by Claudio Bizzarri but it was well saved by Pietro Battara. In the 11th minute Amos Mariani crossed for Rozzoni who headed down for a Bruno Franzini shot but his powerful strike was walled by a defender's back.


Lazio insisted and Tozzi had two opportunities, on the first Battara came off his line well and dived at the Brazilian's feet and on the second his shot shaved the post.


In the 14th minute Nicola Lo Buono went off briefly to get some assistance from the physio.


In the 20th minute the visitors went close when Menti was clean through but Idilio Cei stood firm and blocked the shot.


In the 25th minute came a controversial episode when Giobatta Zoppelletto slapped Tozzi but it went unnoticed by the referee who, even after consulting the linesman, took no disciplinary action.


Lazio were constantly forward, with Prini, Franco Carradori and Mariani particularly active but their finishing was imprecise. Halftime Lazio 0 Vicenza 0 but Lazio well on top.


The second half followed the same script. In the 47th minute Rozzoni's shot was too weak, then a few minutes later Bizzarri shot wide after a good Mariani run and cross and in the 53rd Carradori had a cracking long range shot spectacularly saved by Battara.


Lazio were queuing up and the goal finally came in the 56th minute. From a Mariani cross there was a prolonged scramble in the area which Rozzoni put an end to by turning and sending a crisp strike past Battara. Lazio 1 Vicenza 0.


Lazio continued on the front foot and had several chances to double their lead. A Bizzarri header went close from a Mariani cross and then Bizzarri went on a solo run but his final effort was saved by the Biancorosso keeper.


Meanwhile, Lo Buono was again forced off the field for a few minutes after a hard challenge by Giulio Savoini.


In the 79th minute Lazio finally scored again. Rozzoni went on a great individual surge and set up Tozzi, the keeper cleared with his fist but Rozzoni was there again to put the ball in the back of the net. Lazio 2 Vicenza 0 and a fairer reflection of Lazio's dominance so far.


At this point Vicenza threw caution to the wind and pushed forward. In the 87th minute, following a defensive blunder, Traverso pulled one back, teed up by Giuseppe Brognoli. Lazio 2 Vicenza 1.


In the dying seconds the "Lane" almost equalised when Marcello Agnoletto hammered a long range shot just over the bar. It would have been cruel on Lazio who had been in control for almost the entire match. Final score Lazio 2 Vicenza 1.


A well-deserved win for Lazio and a dream debut for Rozzoni, who went off to a standing ovation. Lazio were up to joint 2nd place in the table behind leaders Juventus and next up the derby.


Who played for Lazio


Manager: Bernardini


Who played for Vicenza


Battara, Burelli, Baston, De Marchi, Zoppelletto, Traverso, Menti, Agnoletto, Cappellaro, Brognoli, Savoini

Manager: Lerici


Referee: Famulari


Goals: 56' Rozzoni, 79' Rozzoni, 87' Traverso


What happened next


Lazio lost the derby 0-3 a week later and did not win another game until December (Sampdoria 3-1). They struggled all season and only picked up towards the end, winning 5 out of the last 11 matches. The Biancocelesti finished 12th.


In Coppa Italia they reached the semi-final but were beaten 0-3 by Juventus and then came 3rd beating Torino 2-1 in the "finalina" (3rd and 4th place final). Top scorer was Rozzoni with 16 goals (13 in league).


Vicenza improved and won their next two matches (Padova at home and Genoa away). They finished 10th after 11 wins (including Lazio 3-2 and Roma 5-0), 10 draws and 13 defeats.


In Coppa Italia the "Nobile Provinciale" (The Provincial Nobleman) was eliminated by SPAL 0-1 in the second round. Their top scorer was Conti with 11 league goals.


The Scudetto was won by Juventus for the 11th time (the Bianconeri had Omar Sivori and John Charles) and the "Old Lady" also won the Coppa Italia (Fiorentina 3-2). Serie B trips were booked for Genoa, Alessandria and Palermo.


Lazio 1959-60

Competition

Played

Won

Drawn

Lost

Goals scored

Serie A

34

9

12

13

32

Coppa Italia

3

3

-

-

5

Total

37

12

12

13

37

Top five apperances

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Janich

36

33

3

Franzini

34

33

1

Carradori

28

27

1

Prini

28

27

1

Molino

27

26

1

Top five goal scorers

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Rozzoni

14

13

1

Bizzarri

4

4

-

Carradori

3

2

1

Pozzan

3

1

2

Visentin

3

3

-

Let’s talk about Amos Mariani


Amos Mariani first from right kneeling. Source Wikipedia

Amos Mariani was born in Montecatini Terme (Pistoia), on March 30, 1931.


He started playing football for his local club Montecatini before moving to fellow Tuscans, Empoli in 1947.


The Azzurri were in Serie B. Mariani stayed two seasons and played 22 league games with 1 goal. The Empolesi finished 5th and 17th.


In 1949-50 he joined Juventus. The Bianconeri had future Lazio manager Jesse Carver in charge and Mariani made his debut on October 16 against Atalanta. It would be his only appearance but he became Italian Champion in May as the "Old Lady" won the Scudetto. He was in a squad which included future Lazio Pasquale Vivolo, Carlo Parola, Karl Aage Præst and John Hansen.


In 1950 Mariani signed for Atalanta. He stayed one season in Serie A under managers Giovanni Varglien and then Englishman Dennis Neville. The Orobici finished 12th and Marani played 26 league games with 3 goals (Udinese, Novara, Juventus).


In 1951 he joined Udinese in Serie A. Under manager Guido Testolina he played 36 league games with 1 goal (Lucchese). The Friulani finished 14th.


In 1952 he moved back to Tuscany and joined Fiorentina. He stayed three seasons under Renzo Magli and then future Lazio Fulvio Bernardini for two full seasons. The Gigliati finished 7th, 3rd and 5th and Mariani played 85 league games with 15 goals (Novara, Juventus, Bologna, Roma, Bologna, Lazio, Legnano, Catania, Udinese, Atalanta, Roma,Torino, Inter). In his time in Florence, he played alongside Maurilio Prini who would score Lazio's winner in the 1958 cup final against the "Viola".


In 1955 Mariani joined reigning champions Milan. He stayed three years. In his first the manager was Héctor Puricelli and Milan finished 2nd and reached the semi-finals of the European Cup (Real Madrid 3-5 on aggregate). Mariani played 26 league games with 5 goals (Atalanta, Sampdoria, Padova, Torino home and away), 3 in the European Cup with 1 goal (Rapid Vienna) and 2 in the Latin Cup with 1 goal (Benfica - Milan won the cup beating Athletic Bilbao 3-1).


The following year, under Gipo Viani, Milan won the Scudetto. Mariani played 30 league games with 2 goals (Palermo, Udinese) and 1 in the Latin Cup with 1 goal (Saint-Étienne). He played alongside former Lazio Per Bredesen. One of Milan's seven defeats came against Lazio, 0-3 in Rome.


The 1957-58 would be his last with Milan. The Rossoneri finished 9th, first under Viani and then Luigi Bonizzoni for the Coppa Italia (from June to September). They however reached the European Cup final but lost to Real Madrid 2-3 after extra-time in Brussels (in the later infamous Heysel Stadium). Mariani played 26 league games with 7 goals (Udinese, Atalanta, Vicenza, Inter, Padova, Lazio, Roma), 4 in Coppa Italia and 6 in the European Cup with 1 goal (Rapid Vienna).


In 1958 he signed for Padova in Serie A. The manager was future Milan legend Nereo Rocco. The Patavini finished 7th and Mariani played 31 league games with 9 goals.


In 1959 he joined Lazio. In the capital he was reunited with manager Bernardini. The Biancocelesti finished 12th and reached the Coppa Italia semi-finals (lost to Juventus 0-3) and then achieved 3rd place (Torino 2-1 in losers final). Mariani played 20 league games.


The following season Bernardini stayed on but was replaced by former player Enrique Flamini after 10 games (with Jesse Carver as TD from the 15th game onwards). Lazio struggled all season and were ultimately relegated in 18th place. They did reach the Coppa Italia final but lost to Fiorentina 0-2 and also won a derby 2-1. Mariani played 24 league games with 2 goals (SPAL, Atalanta) and 3 in Coppa Italia.


In 1961 he moved further South to Naples in Serie B. The Partenopei had Fioravante Baldi as manager and then former legend Bruno Pesaola and finished 2nd winning promotion back to Serie A (at Lazio's expense… see Seghedoni's disallowed goal). More surprising was Napoli winning the Coppa Italia defeating SPAL 2-1 in the final (after defeating Sampdoria, Torino, Roma and Mantova). Mariani played 18 league games with 4 goals (Reggiana, Alessandria x2, Messina) and 1 game in Coppa Italia.


The following season, 1962-63, would be his last. Under Bruno Pesaola, Napoli went straight back down to Serie B in 16th position (Lazio were promoted, ...so justice was done). Mariani played only 11 league games with 2 goals (Fiorentina, Palermo) and 9 in the Cup Winners Cup with 2 goals (Bangor City, OFK Belgrade, who eliminated Napoli in the quarterfinals). One of his teammates in Naples was former Lazio defender Giovanni Molino.


He then retired at 32.


At international level Mariani won 4 Italy caps with 2 goals. He took part in the 1952 Olympics with a goal against the USA and then in 1959 scored at Wembley in a 2-2 draw against England in a friendly. He is therefore one of the few Italians to have scored in the glorious north-west London stadium (Capello, Zola, Insigne and Bonucci others who come to mind).


After retiring he went into coaching. He started at Sorso (Sassari, Sardinia) and then spent a year each at Pro Vasto (C) and Montebelluna (D).


After a break he had a brief experience with Torres (D) in 1975 and then reappeared in Greece in 1977-78 at Ethnikos Peiraios (Piraeus Athens) and two years later in his hometown Montecatini (C2). He then had single seasons with Lecco (C2), Lucchese (C2), Alghero (5th tier), Vibonese (5th tier) and then Sambiase (Vigor Lamezia) and Chiaravalle (Ancona) at amateur level. In 1990 he retired from coaching.


Mariani was a forward who usually played on the right wing. He was 1.75 and 73 kilos. His main qualities were his speed and an excellent cross. He was a great assist man but also got his own fair share of goals. He had an excellent club career. He played 316 games in Serie A with 45 goals and won 2 Scudetti (Juventus 1950 as a reserve and Milan 1957 as a protagonist) and a Coppa Italia (Napoli 1962).


At Lazio he had two good seasons but they were difficult years for the Biancocelesti. He was also slightly past his peak having spent his best years with Fiorentina and especially Milan. At Lazio he played 47 games with 2 goals.


Mariani died in 2007 in Montecatini Terme.


Lazio Career

Season

Total appearances (goals)

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Cup of the Alps

1959-60

20

20

-

-

1960-61

28 (2)

24 (2)

3

1

Total

48 (2)

44 (2)

3

1


Sources


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