Monday, 23 May 2011

Empoli 1-1 Torino

Torino took the lead after just three minutes, but were unable to hold on to what would have been a vital victory, and therefore means they must beat Padova on Sunday in order to compete in the playoffs at the end of the regular season.

Torino could not of made a better start, as after just three minutes, Mirco Antenucci's exquisite pass found the on running Antimo Iunco, whose side footed shot narrowly crawled over the line. Empoli's goalkeeper Alberto Pelagotti did get a hand to the shot, which was in all honestly a tame effort, and should therefore be disappointed that he did not prevent the goal.

Empoli dominated the rest of the first half as they attempted to get back into the game, a game they needed to win in order to keep alive their own hopes of reaching the playoffs. Like so many times this season, Toro were thankful to their goalkeeper Rubinho, who made a number of good saves, including tipping a Diego Fabbrini half volley over the bar.

However, Empoli were level three minutes into the second half via Mirko Valdifiori's stunning volley from 25 yards after a Torino failed to clear a corner. Both sides had half chances to get a winner, as both Luciano Zavagno and Valerio Di Cesare came close for the Granata.

In the dying seconds, Torino had the best chance to gain all three points, but Alessando Sgrigna's left footed shot was well saved by Pelagotti, who made amends for his earlier mistake. In the other crucial game in the race for the playoffs, Padova beat Livorno 3-2, meaning that only a victory will suffice for Torino, when they meet Padova next Sunday.

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