Sunday, 14 June 2009

Serie B - Play-off: Final in the balance

Brescia 2-2 LivornoBrescia fought back from 2-0 down on home soil to hold Livorno in an entertaining first leg of the Serie B play-off final - leaving promotion into Serie A hanging in the balance.

The Stadio Rigamonti hosted the first leg after fourth-placed Brescia eliminated Empoli and third-placed Livorno saw off Tuscan rivals Grosseto in dramatic semi-finals on Thursday.

The home side couldn't have gone closer to an opening goal in the first minute of tie, as Andrea Caracciolo struck the post.

However, it was the Amaranto who broke the deadlock after nine minutes with a trademark Alessandro Diamanti blockbuster from distance beating Emiliano Viviano in the Brescia goal.

The goal came against the run of play, but it fired the visitors up and just four minutes later, Francesco Tavano sprung the offside trap to double the lead.

It wasn't Caracciolo's night, as he struck the frame of the goal for a second time and had a shot cleared off the line, but he did provide the assist for Riccardo Taddei, who's strike into the top corner on the half-hour mark halved the deficit at the interval.

The Rondinelle completed their comeback with an equaliser six minutes after the restart as Taddei's long effort bounced past Luca Mazzoni.

Brescia threatened to turn the game around completely in an open last 30 minutes, but Livorno held firm.

The 2-2 first leg result means an aggregate draw after extra time in the return match next Saturday will be enough to see Livorno make an immediate return to Serie A.

Brescia, however, will need to win at the Stadio Armando Picchi inside the regulation 90 minutes or after the extra 30-minute period.

[Brescia 2-2 Livorno] - [Livorno 3-0 Brescia]

Source: C4 Football Italia

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