Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Serie B Play-offs: First Leg Review

Lecce secured a fundamental away win at Pisa in the first leg of the Serie B play-off semi-finals. The Pugliesi seemed confident and, although the Tuscans had chances to equalise, they managed to run out winners.

Arena Garibaldi, Pisa
Simone Tiribocchi's screamer at the beginning of the second half gave Lecce the lead, and the Giallorossi were able to keep it intact until the end while the Nerazzurri were trying their best to rescue themselves.

The visitors' last Serie A appearance goes back to the 2005-06 season, while the locals have been out of the top flight for 17 years.

Coach Giuseppe Papadopulo had to do without Jaime Valdes, injured, plus Souleymane Diamoutene and Drissa Diarra called upon by their respective national teams.

The first half was dominated by the home team, who also had a goal disallowed by the referee. Jose Castillo was in a clear offside position when his tap-in went past Benussi following a cross from Juliano.

Despite putting in a lot of effort, Pisa were a bit messy while Lecce simply controlled their opponents with experience. Ten minutes into the second half the Giallorossi found the net, hitting their rivals on the break. Tiribocchi controlled with his chest and smashed it beyond Davide Morello.

Pisa were badly hurt and desperately looking for an equaliser. Tension was rising while Lecce held their nerves and maintained their leadership with relative ease.

The two sides will now meet at the Stadio Via del Mare in the return leg on Sunday, with the Pugliesi pretty confident of qualifying for the Final.

Source: C4 Football Italia

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