Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Fiorentina 2-2 Torino

'If that game was a Hollywood movie, nobody would go and see it, because the ending is just too cruel.'

The above quote is taken from myself in the immediate aftermath of Sunday's game between between Fiorentina and Torino. They say time can heal all wounds, but the image of Alessio Cerci missing an injury time penalty that would have put Toro into Europe for the first time in 20 years is still ingrained in my memory, and probably will be forever. 

Giampiero Ventura made one surprising choice, as the suspended Cesare Bovo was replaced by Panagiotis Tachtsidis, and the experienced Giuseppe Vives moved into the back three.

Despite pre-match predictions that Fiorentina would take things easy on Toro, a club they are 'twinned' with, the Viola started much the brighter as Giuseppe Rossi forced Daniele Padelli into a great save. At the other end, a great run from Alessio Cerci ended with the former Viola winger being pulled back in the area, but Toro's appeals for a penalty were turned down.

On the hour mark, Juan Cuadrado, the home side's most threatening player was brought down in the area by Giuseppe Vives, although replays showed the Colombian may have initiated the contact. Giuseppe Rossi stepped up and sent Padelli the wrong way to give the Viola the lead. 

Giampiero Ventura brought on strikers Paulo Barreto and Marcelo Larrondo as Toro went in search of an equaliser, and within three minutes the latter scored his first goal of the season after excellent work from Alessio Cerci on the right wing.

Torino thought they had taken the lead when Emiliano Moretti prodded home from a corner, but the goal was disallowed due to an apparent push by Marcelo Larrondo. With Torino pushing men forward in search of a winning goal, they left themselves open to the counter attack, and Cuadrado supplied an inch perfect pass for substitute Ante Rebic to fire home. 

However, Toro were not ready to give up and with five minutes remaining Jasmin Kurtic fired an unstoppable free kick into the top corner to give the thousands of Torino fans who had travelled to Florence hope that they would witness an incredible comeback.

And then, in the third minute of injury time substitute Paulo Barreto was upended by Facundo Roncaglia and Torino were awarded a penalty. Former Viola player Alessio Cerci stepped up to take the spot kick, but almost unbelievably, his strike was save by Fiorentina keeper Antonio Rosati, and as has been the case so many times in Torino's distinguished history, the Granata had fallen at the final hurdle.

The atmosphere amongst the Torino fans after the final whistle is unlike anything I have ever witnessed in football, as the realisation of what they had just witnessed began to sink in, and thus the result was an eerie silence. 

That was until the Torino players, and a clearly distraught Alessio Cerci made there way over to the away fans for a deserved standing ovation for what has been an incredible season, and a 7th placed finish for a team who barely avoided relegation last season is an incredible achievment and every single member of the squad and coaching staff deserves immense credit for what they have achieved.

Sempre Forza Toro

1 comment:

  1. Amazing season, so much fun following the club this year! It was stunning how many players made huge leaps in quality this year: Cerci, Immobile, El Kaddouri, Padelli, Maksimovic, etc. Also Darmian and Vives solidified just how consistent good they truly are.

    The ending should not be placed on Cerci's shoulders. Cerci ran himself into the ground all year as the only real creative source on the team (El Kaddouri in spurts). It was a minor miracle that him and Immobile were able to stay on the field so consistently.

    Forza Toro!