Sunday, 28 August 2011

Ascoli 1-2 Torino

Giampiero Ventura had the ideal start to his reign as Torino coach, as Toro came from behind to beat Ascoli 2-1 in their opening Serie B game of the season.

It took just three minutes for the first controversial moment of the season to occur,  as new signing Simone Verdi went down the right hand side and his cross found Rolando Bianchi whose shot looked to have crossed the line. Despite claims by Bianchi and his teammates that the whole of the ball did cross the line, the referee did not give the goal, and play continued.

Torino were further incensed when just one minute later, Ascoli went up the other end and scored the opening goal of the match. The goal came from a corner, as happened so many times last season, and indecision from keeper Ferdinando Coppola and Kamil Glik allowed Sinisa Andjelkovic to head home.

Torino reacted positively to going behind, and Rolando Bianchi had a great chance to equalise after Migjen Basha's fantastic through ball, but Bianchi's shot went wide of the post. Torino had the opening chance of the second half, as Giulio Ebagua could only divert Alessandro Parisi cross narrowly wide.

Giampiero Ventura made his first substitution of the match, and it was a brave one as well, taking off experienced winger Stefano Guberti to bring on youngster Nnamdi Oduamadi who is on loan from AC Milan. However, it was another man signed from AC Milan in the summer, Simone Verdi, who got Torino back into the match, as he won his new team a penalty.

After nice footwork in the area, the impressive Verdi was clearly fouled by Ascoli defender Alex Pederzoli and it was Captain Rolando Bianchi who converted the penalty to equalise. Torino almost took the lead moments later, when Simone Verdi came close to scoring with a free kick from 25 yards, but it was well saved by Ascoli goalkeeper Enrico Guarna.

Torino were helped in their quest to gain all three points when Ascoli were reduced to ten men, as substitute Marcello Gazzola was sent off after receiving two yellow cards in quick succession. And with just three minutes remaining, Torino got the winning goal that they deserved, after Rolando Bianchi's neat back heel sent substitute Oduamadi through on goal, and he finished calmly into the corner of the net to give Torino a victory.

With the transfer window closing on Wednesday, there is now not long to wait until we will know whether Angelo Ogbonna and Rolando Bianchi will be staying at the club for the foreseeable future. This hard fought victory in the opening game is the ideal start for Torino in their challenge for promotion, and will be looking for a similar result when they face Cittadella in their first home game on Wednesday night.

Forza Torino

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