Tanner Tessmann and debutant Jack de Vries both saw the field for Venezia on Tuesday afternoon, as they were made to struggle against second-tier Ternana before eventually advancing to the next round of the Coppa Italia.
Venezia FC 3 – 1 Ternana Calcio
Playing at home as clear favorites against a lower-division team, Venezia head coach Paolo Zanetti opted to rest most of his usual starters, looking ahead to their tough final two matches of Serie A play before the winter break.
This meant that American starlet Gianluca Busio was dropped to the bench with several other regulars, alongside often used substitute Tessmann. However, on-loan youngster Jack de Vries was also promoted to the senior squad for the first time following an impressive season so far in Venezia’s Primavera team, and saw action as a late substitute.
The starting eleven had serious issues gaining a foothold in the first half, with their Serie B opponents easily battling to a scoreless intermission, however the Venetians were eventually able to pull away in the second half, despite a short early scare.
Before even three minutes had been played after the opening whistle, Ternana looked to have taken a shock lead, as a hard strike from Marino Defendi from just inside the area bounced off the leg of Stefano Pettinari and flew into goal. However, after a lengthy deliberation and VAR check, the goal was called back for offside.
Tessmann was brought in as the main central midfielder for the often-injured and little used Luca Fiordilino just after the half, and had an overall positive outcome on the hosts’ ability to control the flow of the game.
Venezia took the lead in the 49th minute, following a run up the right by Pasquale Mazzochi, who hit a cross to Dor Peretz in the middle. The Israeli international tapped it back to the edge of the area where Daan Heymans struck it low to the right side of goal for the 1-0 advantage.
The lead lasted barely five minutes, after Pettinari struck a beauty of a free kick to the upper right corner, well out of the reach of Venezia’s backup keeper Luca Lezzerini.
Zanetti quickly adjusted, bringing in three regular starters – Sofian Kiyine, Domen Crnigoj and Dennis Johnsen – at the hour mark to avoid risking an embarrassing result or exhausting extension into overtime.
This paid off, with Johnsen and Crnigoj teaming up to restore the lead in the 66th minute. The Norwegian maintained possession on the left side of the area to draw the attentions of three defenders his way, then laid it off to Crnigoj for a beautiful 20-yard strike.
De Vries entered the game in the 76th minute in place of Arnor Sigurdsson, and promptly picked up a yellow card three minutes later for a hard tackle, although it was partially helped along by an Oscar-worthy performance by Ternana’s Luca Ghiringhelli.
Nevertheless, the hosts added a third goal to seal the result with roughly nine minutes left in regulation, with Francesco Forte pouncing on an initially blocked cross by Johnsen, and striking it over the line from close range for the final 3-1 scoreline.
With the victory, Venezia reach the third round of the competition, where they will face the indomitable Atalanta, who recently beat them 4-0 in league play, on a yet-to-be-determined date in mid-January.
In the meantime, they turn their eyes back to Serie A, where they face Sampdoria and Lazio over a three day span before heading into the winter break.