Italian club Lazio had won the championship of the Serie A in the 1973-74 season much due to the goalscoring of superstar forward Giorgio Chinaglia. In April 1976 Chinaglia joined the New York Cosmos on what was said to be a $800,000 multi-year contract.

After finishing the 1976-77 Serie A season in fifth place in the final standings Lazio went on a tour of North America. They started their tour in Toronto against North American Soccer League club Toronto Metros-Croatia on May 27, 1977. Nearly 9,000 soccer fans watched the 1976 NASL champions play against the Italian team. The Metros-Croatia starting eleven included four former National Soccer League players. Those players being Zeljko Bilecki, Damir Sutevski, Robert Iarusci and Bruno Pilas. Lazio defeated Toronto Metros-Croatia 2-1.

The next day Lazio played against German club Eintracht Braunschweig at Eastern Michigan University Stadium. 11,000 soccer fans watched Bruno Giordano score the only goal of the game to secure Lazio a 1-0 victory.

Lazio’s third game of the tour was played on June 1. A crowd of 25,000 turned up at Giants Stadium to watch New York Cosmos and its former Lazio star Giorgio Chinaglia play against his old team. Chinaglia scored the first goal of the game but Lazio won the exhibition game 3-2.

Two days later Lazio played against NASL club Rochester Lancers at Holleder Memorial Stadium in Rochester. The Rochester Lancers starting eleven included former National Soccer League stars Jack Brand, Momcilo “Mike” Stojanovic and Milovan “Mike” Bakic. Stojanovic and Bakic had both been redubbed as Mike instead of their normal first names by the Lancers’ staff. A crowd of 10,000 watched the two teams play to a 0-0 tie.

On Sunday June 5, 1977, the world-famous Italian club traveled to Buffalo, New York, to play against National Soccer League club Buffalo Blazers at War Memorial Stadium.

Vincenzo D’Amico was the star of the match with his three goals. He scored the first goal of the match after 20 minutes. Then followed up with another goal after 40 minutes. Just before halftime Bruno Giordano took a pass from D’Amico to give the Italians a 3-0 lead.

In the 49th minute Emanuel Kulu scored Blazers’ only goal of the game. Then followed Lazio goals by Fernando Viola after 61 minutes, D’Amico with his third goal in the 83rd minute and Renzo Rossi with a goal in the 89th minute. The 6-1 win was Lazio’s biggest win on their North American tour.

The referee was Bill Daworski.

After the match in Buffalo, Lazio played in another two exhibition games before they returned to Italy. On June 7 they beat Connecticut Bi-Centennials 2-0 and on June 10 they defeated Fort Lauderdale Strikes 4-1.


Buffalo Blazers: Brian McLaughlin, Dubrowski, Joe Fenwick, Crawley, Priest (Haas), Junior Paul (Odeyimi), Mario Cintriniti (Pinzone), Zura, McIntosh, Kulu, Bud Lewis (Mena).

Lazio: Felice Pulici (Claudio Garella), Paolo Ammoniaci (Antonio Lopez), Luigi Martini (Claudio Ceccarelli), Luigi Polentes, Dario Pighin (Paolo Ammoniaci), Franco Cordova, Roma Garlaschelli (Renzo Rossi), Andrea Agostinelli (Fernando Viola), Bruno Giordano, Vincenzo D’Amico, Pietro Ghedin.