Sunday, 25 March 2007

Serie B Wk 31: Review

Sunday 25 March
Albinoleffe 0-0 Rimini
Rimini took a step backwards in their promotion bid with this disappointing draw at the Stadio Azzurri d’Italia. The usually entertaining visitors did not manage a single shot on target, while Albinoleffe only shook up the game a little with Ruopolo firing over and Cristiano’s central strike comfortably held by Pugliesi

Bologna 1-0 Frosinone
The Rossoblu resumed their march on the top spots with this tough victory over Serie B revelations Frosinone. Renzo Ulivieri’s men changed to a 4-3-2-1 system and broke through almost immediately with a curling Bellucci free kick that caught Zappino by surprise. He almost completed his brace soon after, but his close-range effort was stopped short by the upright. Meghni and Marazzina wasted several chances to make the points safe, while Zappino needed his wits about him to avoid a Cannarsa own goal. Former Parma striker Dedic had Frosinone’s only real opportunities from distance, although the visitors laid a late siege to Antonioli's net. Substitute Margiotta forced a save in the final minutes, Di Nardo failed to make the most of a promising Lodi assist and in the last seconds Antonioli performed a stunning double save on Cannarsa's header and the Lacrimini follow-up.

Cesena 1-1 Mantova
This preview to the play-offs was a hard-fought affair in which both sides seemed to fear defeat more than seek victory. Mantova were the more aggressive from the start with Caridi’s header skimming the woodwork and former local hero Bernacci failing to make the most of a loose ball. Cesena also threatened through Del Core, but Caridi remained a danger in the air, forcing a fine save out of Sarti.

The home side should have taken the lead when Anastasi fired straight at the goalkeeper and one minute later Mantova made him pay for that mistake. Tarana floated in a cross from the right for Spinale’s free header. The Stadio Manuzzi outfit snatched a point late on through Sabato’s deflected free kick.

Crotone 0-3 Genoa
Di Vaio finally broke through his drought with a brace, having netted just once for Genoa since his January arrival from Monaco. The first half was the usual Grifone fare – a well-organised side with a toothless attack, especially in the absence of Adailton. Crotone were hoping to repeat their shock victory over Napoli, but the giants finally awoke after the break. Leon, another mid-season arrival from Reggina, sparked them to life by turning in a splendid defence-cutting Juric pass. Di Vaio wasted a good chance on the counter but, following Piocelle’s second bookable offence, took advantage of the extra space. Masiello’s slalom set up his first, while the 3-0 was secured with a delicate chip

Lecce 1-0 Arezzo
Lecce keep themselves in a comfortable mid-table position, but Arezzo are going to find it very difficult to escape relegation. Valdes was the liveliest player in a dour Stadio Via del Mare encounter and he converted the penalty after 23 minutes when Bricca brought down Giuliatto. Tesser and Tiribocchi failed consolidate the lead and Bremec performed a tough save to deny Osvaldo. Arezzo’s only real scoring opportunity came from Floro Flores in the final minutes, but he fired wide from close range.

Spezia 1-2 Bari
Bari were the surprise victors, especially considering their injury problems, at Spezia. The home side threatened early on with a couple of Varricchio chances and an Alessi free kick turned out by Gillet. Guidetti also thumped the frame of the goal in the second half, but it was the Galletti who broke through in controversial circumstances. Rossi brought down Tabbiani – possibly outside the area – but the referee pointed to the spot and Sgrigna converted. Less than 60 seconds later Colombo had nodded in the deserved equaliser. However, Spezia had only themselves to blame, as Scarlato accidentally turned an innocuous cross into his own net. Colombo led the charge, but Bari held on for the precious win

Verona 2-1 Vicenza
Verona continue their trend of netting last-gasp points by taking the Veneto derby deep into stoppages. Hellas had been the better of the two teams overall and finally broke through when Sibilano rose to nod in Ferrarese’s cross from the left. However, it lasted just four minutes until Foti cut back for a Nastos bullet that fizzed under the bar. The local clash seemed set to end with a share of the points, but in the final seconds substitute Akagunduz’s close-range header snatched victory for Verona. It was his second stoppage-time goal in as many games.

Juventus P-P Napoli
To be played on Tuesday 10 April because of international call-ups. Match Report >>>

Brescia P-P Triestina
To be played on Tuesday 10 April because of international call-ups. Match Report >>>

Treviso P-P Pescara

To be played on Tuesday 10 April because of international call-ups. Match Report >>>

Monday 26 March
Piacenza 5-1 Modena
Promotion chasing Piacenza have moved into second place after beating Modena 5-1 in the Serie B Monday night game. With the top of the table clash between Juventus and Napoli being postponed because of international commitments, Piacenza took advantage by jumping over the Azzurri in the standings. The home side took an instant grip of the game by going two up after just 25 minutes thanks to Nef and star striker Cacia. The points looked virtually guaranteed at the break, especially given that Modena are fighting for their Second Division lives. Yet they seemingly got back into the game just after the restart through Abate. However, any hope of a Gialloblu fight back evaporated within 60 seconds as Rantier restored the Garilli outfit’s two-goal advantage. To make matters worse, Modena were reduced to 10-men due to the dismissal of Rossi in minute 67, before Lazzari fired home a fourth and Gemiti a fifth in the closing stages

Source: C4 Football Italia

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