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  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten

September 24, 1958: Lazio Fiorentina 1-0, Coppa Italia Final

Updated: Oct 17, 2023

The first silverware: Coppa Italia


The Biancocelesti beat Fiorentina thanks to Prini and lift the first trophy of their history


Source Wikipedia

Coppa Italia 1958


For today we will concentrate on what happened in the Coppa Italia of 1958.


The Coppa Italia was played in the solar year and for the first time since the end of World War II. The Serie A, as usual when there was a World Cup, had been anticipated by three weeks to allow the Nazionale to train before the competition. However, without Italy’s participation, there was a need to “invent” something for the Italians to think about, so, instead of launching the Coppa Italia in the 1958-59 season as initially planned, they decided to fill the June gap with the new cup.


All Serie A teams were invited with the exception of Atalanta, involved in a case of possible corruption, and Verona, who had a playoff with Bari, plus the best 8 of Serie B and Serie C. The 32 teams were divided into 8 groups of four. The winners would play the quarterfinals in September and automatically qualify for the first knockout round in the next Coppa Italia.


Lazio started the cup with a number of changes. Fulvio Bernardini, former 1920s Lazio player, returned to manage the team. Only a couple of years earlier he had won a historic scudetto with Fiorentina so there were high hopes that the new boss could take Lazio to a higher level.


Unfortunately, the club was forced to sell their star player, Arne Selmosson. Alas, the highest bidders were Roma and despite various attempts to boycott the transfer, plus the fact that the Swede was not really that happy to play for the other Rome team, Selmosson was sold to Roma.


New players arrived and were immediately thrown in the team to play the Coppa Italia: Idilio Cei (goalkeeper from Foligno), Claudio Bizzari (forward, Fiorentina), Carlo Tagnin (midfielder, Alessandria), Maurilio Prini (forward, Fiorentina), Giacomo Del Gratta (defender, Zenit Modena) and Egidio Fumagalli (midfielder, Novese). Later on Franco Janich (defender, Atalanta), Bruno Francini (midfield, Genoa) and Paolo Carosi (Tivoli midfield) also arrived.


Lazio were in Group H together with Roma, Palermo and Napoli. Whoever came top proceeded to the quarterfinals.


In the first game Lazio demolished Palermo 5-1 with a Humberto Tozzi hat trick and goals from Renzo Burini and Alfredo Napoleoni. Game two saw the Biancocelesti beat Napoli 3-1 (Tozzi double plus Tagnin). Game three was the derby which saw Lazio win away 3-2 (another Tozzi double and Bizzarri). In game four Lazio drew at Palermo 2-2 (Tozzi, Burini) and in the fifth game the Biancocelesti demolished Napoli away 4-0 (Burini brace, Pozzan and Bizzarri). In the last game of group stage Lazio drew 1-1 with Roma (Tozzi the scorer). Lazio won their group and proceeded to the next stage which was played in September.


The quarterfinals, semis and final were played in single games with the team with the biggest stadium having the home advantage.


In the quarterfinals Lazio beat the only Serie B side to qualify, Marzotto, 2-1 with goals from Fumagalli and Tozzi. In the other games, Bologna won against Milan away 4-2, Fiorentina beat Padova 2-1 and Juventus won in Genoa against Sampdoria, 3-2 after extra time.


In the semis, Lazio had to play against Juventus, a very difficult game. Juventus had a stellar attack with Giampiero Boniperti, John Charles and Omar Sivori, but the Biancocelesti won 2-0, again with goals from Fumagalli and Tozzi. In the other semi-final Fiorentina beat Bologna 4-2.


The final was hence between Lazio and Fiorentina at the Stadio Olimpico.


The match: Wednesday, September 24, 1958, Stadio Olimpico, Rome


Lazio started the match very well. In the 5th minute Ugo Pozzan was fouled just outside the box. Tozzi took the free kick and his shot was only just wide. In the 7th minute, a big opportunity for Fiorentina. Umberto Pinardi headed the ball back instead of forward, Kurt Hamrin and Miguel Montuori both went for the ball at the same time with Franco Janich just looking on. In the end it was Montuori who got the shot but it went wide. Same result for a free kick inside the penalty box that Franco Carradori put wide. Bob Lovati saved a Montuori shot in the 17th minute and immediately after was brave and fast in anticipating Hamrin.


In the 22nd minute free kick for Lazio. Carradori took the shot, Giuliano Sarti fumbled but was quicker than Tozzi and stopped the Brazilian’s possible tap-in. In the 28th minute Francisco Lojacono reacted to a brutal foul by Carradori. The referee sent both players off. A minute later Tozzi found himself in front of Sarti all alone following a splendid assist from Carlo Tagnin, but he shot wide. An incredible miss. But in the 30th minute Lazio scored. Free kick for Lazio, Pozzan crossed and Maurilio Prini headed the ball in.


After a Tozzi attempt at a shot when he could have passed to Fumagalli or Prini, in the 36th minute Hamrin to Guido Gratton but his volley went too high. Before the end of the first half Hamrin had another chance but again his shot was wide.


In the second half Lazio fell back a bit and Fiorentina pushed forward more decisively but the Biancocelesti were dangerous on the counter attack.


In the 55th minute Lovati made a great save on a Hamrin shot. Lazio had a number of opportunities to score but both Tozzi and Bizzarri could not find the goalmouth. A Tozzi-Prini one-two allowed the latter to shoot but Sarti neutralised. In the 60th minute Tozzi again had a chance after a magnificent pass from Claudio Bizzarri but the Fiorentina goalkeeper made a great save.


Fiorentina on the other hand missed Lojacono terribly and could not find the right key to open the Lazio defence. But in the 89th minute the Viola had the biggest chance to equalise. Montuori ran past Umberto Pinardi and into the box. But Pinardi managed to get to the ball first (and injure himself ) so that Lovati could avoid any danger.


Lazio won their first historic silverware and captain Bob Lovati was given the cup. A marvellous achievement seeing that they were certainly not the strongest team. Manager Fulvio Bernardini was finally able to win something with the team of his youth.


Who played for Lazio


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

Substitute: Giglietti

Manager: Bernardini


Who played for Fiorentina


Sarti, Robotti, Castelletti, Chiappella, Cervato, Segato, Hamrin, Lojacono, Montuori, Gratton, Morosi.

Manager: Czeizler.


Referee: Marchese


Goal: 30’ Prini


Source Wikipedia

Lazio Coppa Italia 1958

Competition

Played

Won

Drawn

Lost

Goals scored

Coppa Italia

9

7

2

-

23

Apperances and goals

Player

Appearances

Goals

9

-

9

2

9

10

Maurilio Prini

9

1

8

-

Umberto Pinardi

8

-

8

1

7

-

Egidio Fumagalli

7

2

Carlo Tagnin

6

1

6

5

Mario Colombo

3

-

Franco Janich

3

-

2

-

Giacomo Del Gratta

2

-

2

-

Alfredo Napoleoni

2

1

Luciano Gliglietti

1

-

Dante Castellazzi

1

-

Let's talk about Maurilio Prini


Source Istituto Luce

Maurilio Prini was born on August 17, 1932 at Sieci di Pontassieve near Florence. He started playing football in his local team to then sign for Empoli in Serie C where he played a couple of years. In 1952 he moved to Florence. In 1955-56 the Manager, Fulvio Bernardini, needed a left winger to substitute injured Claudio Bizzari. He chose Prini who interpreted the role in a way that had not been seen before. He was very fast so was able to cover both the attack and defence. In every match he went up and down the left flank, helping out any teammate that needed cover. A tactical revolution which paid off as Fiorentina won the 1955-56 scudetto, reached the final of the European Cup in 1956-57 and won the Grasshoppers Cup in 1957.


The formula of the latter was an interesting one. Six teams participated: Austria Wien, Nice, Schalke 04, Fiorentina, Dinamo Zagreb and Grasshopper Club Zurich. It was a group tournament with home and away games held over five years. It hence started in 1952 and finished in 1957.


In total he played 65 league games in Florence and in 1958 he signed for Lazio. He immediately won the Coppa Italia, scoring the winning goal in the final. It was the first silverware for the club.


He stayed for five years at Lazio playing 86 games in a difficult period for the club which had no money and in the end was relegated to Serie B in 1961.


In 1962 he signed for Prato in Serie C and the club was promoted to the second tier. He stayed another year before playing his final two years with Sangiovannese in Serie D.


Prini also played for Italy participating in the tour of Argentina and Brazil in 1956 with three appearances.


After retirement he became a manager and coached a number of minor teams.


He died in Florence on April 29, 2009.


Lazio Career

Season

Total appearances

Serie A

Serie B

Coppa Italia

Cup of the Alps

1957-58

6

-

-

6

-

1958-59

29 (4)

26 (3)

-

3 (1)

-

1959-60

30 (4)

27 (2)

-

1

2 (2)

1960-61

18 (1)

14 (1)

-

4

-

1961-62

3 (2)

-

2 (1)

1 (1)

-

Total

86 (11)

67 (6)

2 (1)

15 (2)

2 (2)

Sources


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