Saturday, 30 August 2014

Torino 1-0 RNK Split

Torino progressed to the Europa League group stage after a nervy 1-0 victory over Croatians RNK Split on Thursday evening.

Fabio Quagliarella made his first start for Toro, whilst Nicola Maksimovic and Marco Benassi were also surprise starters ahead of Cesare Bovo and Antonio Nocerino.

Omar El Kaddouri almost caught out Andrija Vuković with a free kick at his near post, but the goalkeeper who impressed many in the first leg was equal to the task.

Torino had Daniele Padelli to thank moments afterwards, when he managed to divert Mate Bilić's close range header wide of the target. Almost immediately after that near escape, the Granata were awarded a penalty when El Kaddouri's low cross hit the arm of defender Ivan Ibriks.

The Moroccan international stepped up to take the penalty and calmly sent the impressive Vuković the wrong way.

Fabio Quagliarella, who has a reputation of scoring spectacular goals almost added another to his collection, but his effort from nearly 40 yards was tipped over the bar. The former Italian international came even closer to scoring just before the break but his volley went narrowly wide of the post.

Toro continued to create chances in the second half, but were unable to put the tie beyond doubt with substitute Josef Martinez coming closest to extend their advantage. This failure to put the game to bed lead to a nervy last ten minutes for the home side, but much to the fans' relief they were able to hold on.

In Friday's group stage draw, the Granata were handed a favourable draw as they will face Danish side København, Belgian side Club Brugge and finally Finnish champions HJK. This draw may give the Granata an added belief that their European adventure may extend into 2015.

Forza Toro

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