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What happened in the 1912-13 First Category Championship


Source Lazio Wiki

The previous Italian football championship had been won by Pro Vercelli for their fourth title. The teams were split into two groups: northwest with ten teams, with all the strongest clubs from Milan, Piedmont and Liguria, and the Veneto-Emilia group, with just four teams. The difference between the two groups was enormous. Pro Vercelli beat Venezia in the final 13-0 on aggregate.


The disastrous Olympic Games campaign of 1912 where Italy had been eliminated in the preliminary round by Finland, urged a change. As a consequence, the First Category Championship was divided into two main sections: a Northern one made up of the three groups of six teams with the top two of each group meeting in a final round robin to determine the northern winner, and, for the first time, a centre-south championship. The latter was made up of two groups, Tuscany and Lazio. The winners of the two regional groups would meet in a semifinal with the other semi made up of the two Neapolitan teams. The winners would meet in the centre-south championship final.


The northern and southern champions would then meet to determine the national champion.


Qualifications


There were a few qualifying games to reach the main regional phase. In Piedmont Novara beat Vigor, in Lombardy Racing Libertas and Savonese first eliminated Lambro and Como, and then Racing won the playoff, in Lazio, Alba Roma, Juventus Roma and Pro Roma eliminated Tebro Roma.


Piedmont section


The Piedmont group was won by Pro Vercelli who won every single game except one. No contest really for first place, but there was a battle for second between Casale, Piemonte and Torino. With two games to the end, Casale and Piemonte had 10 points, Torino were on 9. But Piemonte collapsed in the last two games and Casale beat Torino and drew with Novara, guaranteeing themselves second position.


Lombardy-Liguria section


Not much of a contest in this group as Milan and Genoa quickly raced away and kept the lead, with Milan winning every game except the last one against the Rossoblu and Genoa losing only two.


Veneto Emilia section


In this group the battle was between Vicenza, Hellas and Venezia. After half the matches, the former two were top with a one point lead over the Lagoonals. Two games from the end Vicenza were leading with 13 points, Hellas second on 12 and Venezia third on 11. The decisive match was Venezia-Vicenza but this ended with a goalless draw, paving the way for Vicenza and Hellas to the final round robin.


Tuscany section


With one game to the end of this group stage Virtus Juventusque (a Livorno team) and SPES Livorno were tied on seven points. In the last game Virtus won at Pisa and SPES lost at home to Firenze BSC so it was Virtus who proceeded to the semifinal.


Lazio section


No contest in the Lazio group which however was made up of just Roma based teams. The Biancocelesti were the strongest team of the city and won every game except two including a 13-1 against Pro Roma which would be the largest victory in the history of the club. Alba Roma pulled out before the contest and therefore lost every game 2-0.


Northern Final group


Pro Vercelli way too strong for the other teams and as a consequence they won every single game except two draws, topping the group with 18 points, five better than Genoa.


Southern group semifinals and final


The winners of the Lazio and Tuscany group met in the first semifinal. Lazio were too good and after winning 3-1 in Florence, they also won the return match 3-0. Virtus Juventusque abandoned the second game with 17 minutes to play.


The two Neapolitan teams played the second semifinal with Naples prevailing over Internazionale Napoli 5-3 on aggregate.


In the first leg of the final, Lazio won in Naples 2-1 and drew the return match 1-1.


National final


The national final for the scudetto was played in Genoa. Pro Vercelli demonstrated their superiority by thrashing Lazio 6-0 and winning the scudetto for the fifth time. No contest, the Piedmont team was far superior to the Biancocelesti.


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