Italian Recap: Busio, Venezia suffer disappointing last-second loss

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There were few bright spots for Americans plying their trade in Italy this weekend, with Gianluca Busio’s impressive effort for Venezia going to waste, and the rest either watching their teams as spectators from the bench or stands.

Venezia FC 1 – 2 Spezia Calcio

Gianluca Busio was the catalyst for Venezia as they seemed to have picked up points for the second game in a row, only to see their hearts broken in added time on Sunday in a last-second loss to visiting la Spezia on Sunday afternoon.

Tanner Tessmann suited up for the hosts, however was not called into action.

Busio had an active day throughout his 76 minutes of play, taking a number of free kicks in addition to the one which led to his team’s lone goal, while completing 26 of his 30 passes and firing off two of his own attempts at goal.

After Venezia notched their first win of the season last weekend away at Empoli, they were looking to add a second straight positive result against likely relegation candidate la Spezia.

Nevertheless, it was the visitors who would strike first in impressive fashion. A fine display of quick team passing around the edge of the Venezia penalty area left an opening at the top edge, where Giulio Maggiore found Simone Bastoni waiting for a wonderful strike just inside the upper right corner for the 1-0 lead.

Just before the half, Busio was down on the turf in agony, after sliding in on his right knee to cut off a pass from Daniele Verde, however any fears that he had suffered any serious injury were put to rest when he was on the field at the start of the second half.

His presence ended up being key for the hosts, as they pulled even just before the hour-mark. After a foul by la Spezia deep in the right flank, Busio teed up a long free kick to the edge of the six-yard box, which Pietro Ceccaroni headed in for the equalizer.

The American earned his first yellow card of the campaign when he tripped up Jacopo Sala in the 69th minute while charging for a loose ball, and was pulled out seven minutes later by head coach Paolo Zanetti after putting in what was by all means a solid shift.

The Winged Lions looked to be headed to what would be a solid home draw, until disaster struck in the final moments of added time.

la Spezia keeper Jeroen Zoet blasted a goal kick towards the other half, and the ensuing melee saw the ball end up at the foot of late substitute Mehdi Bourabia. The Moroccan international advanced into an open position at 22 yards out, and blasted his shot cleanly to the left of goal for the 94th-minute winner.

Despite the setback, Venezia are still a respectable 13th in the standings on four points. They will return to action quickly, with a daunting visit to AC Milan on Wednesday.


Weston McKennie was an unused substitute for Juventus on Sunday night, as the team fell further into crisis with a disappointing 1-1 draw at home against AC Milan. The result leaves them squarely in the relegation zone, with a mere two points after four games played. They will aim for their first win of the season on Wednesday with a visit to la Spezia.

Bryan Reynolds did not suit up for Roma on Sunday for their shocking 3-2 loss at Hellas Verona, their first of the new season. He will hope to be back in the squad on Thursday evening when the team hosts Udinese.

Giuseppe Barone was not included in Ascoli’s squad on Saturday for their 2-0 home loss to Benevento. The American midfielder will be looking for his first appearance of the season when they visit US Alessandria in midweek action.

Frosinone forward Andrija Novakovich was an unused substitute in the team’s 2-0 road win over Como on Friday evening. The team is back in action on Monday evening, with the American looking to make his season debut at home against Brescia.


David Smith

I'm YA's resident doctor, but not the kind of doctor you would want giving you an examination anywhere outside of a lecture hall. I've been YA's feet-on-the-ground in Germany since 2008, have an affinity for overly verbose descriptions of irrelevant minutiae, keep an eye on YAs in most of the destinations on mainland Europe, and watch a whole lot of Serie A.

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