Gianluca Busio’s first goal for Venezia helped them salvage a point at Cagliari while Andrija Novakovich earned his first start of the season in a home loss to Cittadella.
Cagliari 1 – 1 Venezia FC
Gianluca Busio saved the day for Venezia on Friday evening, scoring the equalizing goal in added time to earn them the point against their hosts Cagliari.
The American played the full game, completing 86% of his 65 attempted passes and troubling the opposing keeper with two shots. His fellow countryman Tanner Tessmann was in uniform for the game, however did not make it off of the team’s bench.
The hosts already jumped into an early lead in the 19th minute, taking advantage of a turnover by Busio in their own area to mount a quick counter.
Razvan Marin did most of the legwork, advancing the ball into Venezia territory before laying it off to Nahitan Nández, who in turn continued the run before back-heeling it to Martín Cáceres. The Uruguayan then fired a pinpoint cross into the area which Keita Baldé headed past Venezia keeper Niki Mäenpää for the lead.
After seeing his team dominate much of the possession but create little in terms of real danger, Venezia head coach Paolo Zanetti switched up his tactics and personnel, bringing in three replacements in the first ten minutes of the halftime break, while effectively pushing Busio into a more advanced role on the field.
Even though it took until the final moments of second-half added time, Zanetti’s adjustments paid dividends, as the 18-year-old North Carolina native was in prime position for the equalizing goal, which was set up by the coach’s final two substitutes.
Francesco Forte controlled a quick pass sent into Cagliari territory and picked out Daan Heymans storming by on his right. The Belgian attacker then hit a centering cross to Busio, who was just beyond the penalty spot. The American settled the ball and struck it on the turn, where it took a slight deflection off of a Cagliari keeper on its way into the goal.
The point pulls Venezia barely out of the relegation zone, where they currently sit 17th place on five points. Following the international break, they return to action on October 18 with a home game against Fiorentina.
Torino FC 0 – 1 Juventus
Weston McKennie earned the start for Juventus on Saturday, as a late goal from Manuel Locatelli saw them come out victorious in the Derby della Mole against crosstown rivals Torino.
The USA international played an active role in Juve’s central midfield alongside Locatelli, although he did waste a pair of good chances on goal, the first after a golden set-up from Adrien Rabiot in the fifth minute, and only completed 76% of his passes over the 90+ minutes.
The Old Lady ended up securing the victory with four minutes left on the clock, after a slickly opportunistic display of team passing resulted in Locatelli receiving the ball at his foot just beyond the edge of the 18-yard box. The Italian international viciously struck his right-footed shot to just beyond the reach of helpless Torino keeper Vanja Milinkovic-Savic, to secure the 1-0 win.
The victory moves Juventus up to seventh place on eleven points, on the cusp of breaking into the European spots. They return to Serie A action on October 17 with a tough matchup against visiting AS Roma.
Frosinone Calcio 0 – 1 AS Cittadella
One week after returning to the field for his first appearance of the season, Andrija Novakovich was in Frosinone’s starting eleven on Saturday, but could not help them overcome visiting Cittadella in Serie B action.
Both teams created a number of chances in the first half, with Novakovich notably hitting a low shot that was just wide left in the 39th minute.
Cittadella, however, secured the victory shortly after the halftime break, as Orji Okwonkwo ran onto a perfectly weighted through-ball from Mirko Antonucci, and nailed his low shot across the area, just within the right upright for the 1-0 win.
Novakovich ended his hourlong shift shortly after the goal in favor of fellow striker Luigi Canotto in a like-for-like switch by head coach Fabio Grosso.
Following the international break, Frosinone will return to action in two weeks with a visit to Cosenza Calcio.
Bryan Reynolds was not on Roma’s bench on Sunday afternoon for their 2-0 home win over FC Empoli.
Giuseppe Barone was not in uniform for Ascoli Calcio on Saturday afternoon for their 2-2 road draw at Crotone.