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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

September 21, 1958: Lazio Sampdoria 1-0

Updated: Nov 11, 2023

Lazio edge win and now for their appointment with history


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


The season so far


Lazio had arrived 12th the previous season and only narrowly avoided relegation. They had gone through three different managers in the process.


This season they had kept the last manager on, Fulvio Bernardini. They already had started their Coppa Italia campaign in June and had reached the final to be played in three days time against Fiorentina in Rome. Lazio had eliminated Palermo (5-1, 2-2), Roma (3-2, 1-1) and Napoli (3-1,4-0) in a group stage, then Marzotto Valdagno 2-1 and Juventus 2-0. They therefore had a chance to win their first historic silverware.


There had unfortunately been a major change to the Lazio squad. It was more a trauma, as Swedish idol Arne Selmosson, (nicknamed "Raggio di Luna", Moonbeam, for the pallor of his skin) after 3 highly successful seasons and 31 goals in 101 games for Lazio, had done the unmentionable; he had swapped “sides of the Tiber” and signed for bitter rivals Roma.


It was a major event in Rome and some people, especially non-Romans, were even said to have changed teams siding with the Giallorossi just so they could continue following the Swede (such as former Prime Minister Massimo D'Alema, just to name one). Until 2018 he was the only player to have scored for both Lazio and Roma in derbies (since emulated by Kolarov and Pedro). So Lazio would start the season "Selmossonless".


This was the main talking point but there had been other changes too. Lazio had added goalkeeper Idilio Cei (Foligno), defender Franco Janich (Atalanta), midfielder Carlo Tagnin (Alessandria), forwards Maurilio Prini (Fiorentina) and Claudio Bizzarri (Fiorentina).


Other players leaving apart from "Raggio di Luna" were midfielder Luigi Fuin (Juventus) and forwards Ermes Muccinelli (Juventus) and Pasquale Vivolo (Genoa).


Sampdoria the previous season had finished 13th, just behind Lazio, first under English manager William Dodgin and then, from February 19, Adolfo Baloncieri. Their top scorer had been Eddie Firmani with an impressive 23 league goals.


This season the South-African striker Firmani had left for Inter and Sampdoria also had a new manager, Eraldo Monzeglio. To replace Firmani, Sampdoria had signed Ernesto "Tito" Cucchiaroni from Milan and Aurelio Milani from Triestina.


The match: Sunday, September 21, 1958, Stadio Olimpico, Rome


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 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


Lovati, Lo Buono, Janich, Carradori, Pinardi, Pozzan, Bizzarri, Tagnin, Tozzi, Fumagalli, Prini

Manager: Bernardini


Who played for Sampdoria


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

Manager: Monzeglio


Referee: Angelini


Goals: 28' Prini


What happened next


Three days later Maurilio Prini was again the hero as his solitary goal got the better of favourites Fiorentina. Lazio won their first historic silverware after 58 years. Captain Bob Lovati lifted the Coppa Italia on a hot Roman evening and celebrations were heard late into the night on the streets of Rome.


In the league Lazio finished 11th. The Biancocelesti won 10 (including Sampdoria 2-1) drew 10 and lost 14. Top scorer was Tozzi with 26 (14 in league).


In the 1958-59 Coppa Italia Lazio reached the quarterfinal but were beaten by Inter 0-1.


Sampdoria had a good season and finished 5th. "La Samp" won 15, drew 8 and lost 11. Their top scorer was Milani with 13 league goals while Cucchiaroni got 10.


The Scudetto was won by Milan ahead of Fiorentina, for their 7th title. The two teams sliding down to second tier football were Talmone Torino and Triestina.



Lazio 1958-59

Competition

Games

Won

Drawn

Lost

Goals Scored

Serie A

34

10

10

14

37

Coppa Italia 1958 (final phase)

3

3

0

0

5

Coppa Italia 1958-59

2

1

0

1

3

Total

39

14

10

15

45

Top Five Appearances

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia 1958 (final phase)

Coppa Italia 1958-59

Tozzi

37

33

3

1

Carradori

36

32

3

1

Janich

36

32

3

1

Lo Buono

34

30

3

1

Tagnin

33

29

3

1

Top Five Goal Scorers

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia 1958 (final phase)

Coppa Italia 1958-59

Tozzi

18

14

2

2

Prini

4

3

1

-

Fumagalli

4

2

2

-

Bizzarri

3

3

-

-

Carradori

3

3

-

-


Let’s talk about Carlo Tagnin


Carlo Tagnin is second from right standing. Source Wikipedia

Carlo Tagnin was born in Alessandria, on November 18, 1932.


He spent his late teenage years in the Torino youth sector before joining hometown side Alessandria in Serie C on loan in 1952. He and the "Orso Grigio" (The Grey Wolf) had a good season winning promotion to Serie B. He played 31 league games and scored 10 goals.


In 1953-54 he moved back to Torino in Serie A but only got 7 league games under future Lazio Jesse Carver first and then, from October, Annibale Frossi. The Granata finished 9th. He played with Vittorio Sentimenti III and Lelio Antoniotti.


In 1954 he joined Simmenthal Monza in Serie B and stayed three seasons. The Brianzoli finished 13th, 3rd and 8th. He played 78 league games with 3 goals.


In 1957-58 he moved home to Alessandria in Serie A. The Grigi finished 12th under Luciano Robotti and he played 29 league games with 3 goals (SPAL, Vicenza, Sampdoria).


In 1958-59 he joined Lazio. The manager was Fulvio "Fuffo" Bernardini and Lazio finished 11th. Tagnin however helped Lazio lift their first ever trophy, as the 1957-58 Coppa Italia was played between June and September 1958. Tagnin played 6 games in that triumphant run and scored 1 goal (Napoli) and then played 29 league games with 1 goal (SPAL) and 1 game in the 1959 Italia.


In 1959 he moved south to Bari in Serie A. He stayed two seasons, the first under Paolo Tabanelli (1-19) and Francesco Capocasale (20-34) and the second under Capocasale again (1-7), Onofrio Fusco (8) and Luis Carniglia (9-34). In the first the Galletti finished 13th while in the second they were relegated after playoffs (Lecco 2-4, Udinese 0-0). In Puglia Tagnin played 64 league games with 4 goals and 2 games in Coppa Italia. In Bari he was involved in an unfortunate episode of attempted match fixing and was suspended for a year.


He reappeared in 1963 at the top as he joined Helenio Herrera's Inter. The Nerazzurri finished 2nd (lost first and only title playoff to Bologna 0-2) but won the European Cup beating Real Madrid 3-1 in Vienna. Tagnin played 20 league games with 1 goal (winner vs SPAL), 1 game in Coppa Italia and 9 in the European Cup triumph (including the final). He had to watch Alfredo Di Stefano, Ferenc Puskás and Francisco Gento. He marked Di Stefano and literally followed him everywhere, the Spaniard famously complaining to Luís Suarez about this treatment.


The following year was even better as the Nerazzurri won both the Scudetto and the European Cup, defeating Eusebio's Benfica 1-0 in San Siro. "Il Biscione" (The Serpent) also won the Intercontinental Cup beating Argentines Independiente 1-0 after extra-time in the third game (0-1 away, 2-0 at home, before away goals). Tagnin played 16 league games, 2 in Coppa Italia, 4 in the European Cup and 2 in the Intercontinental Cup.


In 1965-66 he returned to Alessandria for one last season. The "Mandrogni" were in Serie B and finished 13th under former Lazio Federico Allasio (1-5), Aristide Coscia (6-19) and Hungarian László Székely (19-38). Tagnin played 28 league games.


At 35 Tagnin retired, took a break and then went into coaching. In 1972-73 he was at Albese in Serie D and the "Langaroli" finished 2nd. In 1973-74 he moved to Savona in Serie D but was replaced during the season and the "Striscioni" (The Large Stripes) were eventually relegated.


He then joined Inter's youth sector for eight years between 1975 and 1983 before returning to Alessandria's for two years. His last job was in 1985-86 as Alessandria's first team coach in C2 finishing 3rd.


Tagnin was a solid tackling, hard working midfielder. He was a classic "portatore d'acqua" (water carrier) or less romantically "un cagnaccio" (a cur). He would do the dirty work for the more creative and classy players such as Luís Suarez and Mariolino Corso at Inter.


It was at Inter he reached the peak of his career winning a Scudetto and two European Cups and in one final literally marking Alfredo Di Stefano off the park (or maybe kicked in those days).


He was only at Lazio for one season but it was a memorable one. He was in the line-up that won Lazio's first ever trophy, the 1958 Coppa Italia. A team no doubt easily reeled off by generations of proud Lazio fans in the 1950's and 1960's.


Lazio Career

Season

Appearances (goals)

Serie A

Coppa Italia

1958-59

33 (1)

29 (1)

4

Sources



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