Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Torino 1-1 Reggina

Despite not being able to continue their winning streak, Rolando Bianchi's 88th minute equaliser meant that this result felt more like a win, and come the end of the season this point may prove to be very valuable indeed, and it kept Torino above Reggina in fifth position.

Thanks in part to reduced ticket prices, the match was played in front of a impressive crowd of 19,159, the majority of whom were no doubt eager to see if Torino could take another step on the long road to promotion. Torino had the better of the early exchanges, with both Andrea Gasbarroni and Biagio Pagano forcing saves from Christian Puggioni in the Reggina goal. However, totally against the run of play, it was the visitors who took the lead, with Domenico Danti scoring with a neat back heel after Simone Rizzato's cross. Although clearly shocked by the set back, Torino came close to equalising soon afterwards, with Rolando Bianchi's 30 yard free kick forcing yet another save from the away goalkeeper.

Torino started the second half brightly, as they attempted to get an early equaliser, but once again, like so many times this season they struggled to get the breakthrough that their play deserved. On the hour mark, coach Franco Lerda made a double substitution in an attempt to find a goal as both Alessandro Sgrigna and Antimo Iunco made their way on to the field. Immediately after play restarted, Torino had an ideal opportunity to get their equaliser, as a lapse in concentration by Reggina's Francesco Cosenza put Rolando Bianchi through on goal with only the goalkeeper to beat, but the captain somehow managed to balloon his shot over the bar.

That miss however, seemed to motivate Bianchi who was eager make amends, and he was no doubt aided by the fact that immediately after the miss, the Curva Maratona began to sing his name, showing that they had already forgiven their hero. In the end, it was perhaps apt, that it was the captain who redeemed himself by scoring the equaliser in the 87th minute to rescue a deserved point for the hosts. It was the substitute Sgrigna who was the architect of the goal, as his left footed looping cross, left Bianchi with the simple task of heading in from three yards - and even he wouldn't miss this one.

The match ended in almost farcical scenes, as an altercation between Francesco Pratali and away defender Daniel Adejo led to a mini brawl, with all 22 players and the substitutes getting involved, and the referee, perhaps not wanting to get involved with handing out yellow cards, decided to end the game there.

In the end, Torino were well worth their point, and perhaps unlucky not to get all three, as Reggina seemed to be content for a draw from the outset, and began time wasting immediately after getting their goal. Torino showed how their fighting spirit has improved in recent weeks, because if this game was played a month ago, this report would perhaps be commenting on another Torino defeat, however thankfully, it wasn't.

Forza Torino

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