Thursday, 11 June 2009

Serie B - Play-off: Livorno reach final

Livorno 4-1 Grosseto (Agg: 4-3)Livorno have reached the Serie B play-off final after beating seven-man Grosseto 4-1 in the second leg of their semi-final tie.

Following their 2-0 defeat in Sunday's first match, the highest-ranked Livorno needed at least a draw on aggregate to qualify for the final, and things worked out well for Gennaro Ruotolo's men at the Stadio Armando Picchi.

The local Tuscan rivalry helped the game start at a decent pace with both teams looking inspired and up for a fight.

And it was the home side who opened the scoring after Francesco Tavano picked himself up from a foul to score a penalty half-way through the first period.

Grosseto managed to get back into the game only nine minutes later as Marco Sansovini headed Nicolas Cordova's free-kick to re-establish their two-goal aggregate lead.

However, visiting defender Giuseppe Abruzzese was sent off for a deliberate hand ball shortly before half time and within 60 seconds the home side were ahead for a second time on the night - Tomas Danilevicius' tap-in putting Livorno 2-1 in front at the interval.

Ten minutes into the second half, playing against a man less, Livorno managed to wrap up the game by adding two goals in three minutes thanks to Alessandro Diamanti and a second for Danilevicius to give them a 4-3 aggregate score.

With only 25 minutes remaining and needing two goals without reply, Grosseto completely lost the plot - losing Agostino Garofalo, Gianluca Freddi and Luigi Consonni for clumsy tackles and protests - to finish the game with only seven players on the pitch.

Livorno will now play Empoli or Brescia in the two-legged play-off final on Sunday 14 June and Saturday 20 June for a place in next season's Serie A.

[Empoli 1-1 Brescia] - [Grosseto 2-0 Livorno] - [Livorno 4-1 Grosseto] - [Brescia 3-0 Empoli]

Source: C4 Football Italia

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