A disappointing draw by Tanner Tessmann and Venezia kept them just outside of the Serie B playoff spots, leaving their thin promotion hopes riding on the final two games of the regular season.
Cosenza 1 – 1 Venezia
Venezia’s recent three game winning streak came to a screeching halt in the most deflating of manners on Saturday afternoon, as relegation strugglers Cosenza netted a 90th-minute equalizer to force a share of the spoils.
With Cosenza holding a slight overal edge in the run of play and outshooting their visitors by a 19-11 margin, the result was perhaps deserved, but could prove to be the critical blow to Venezia’s promotion chances.
As usual, Tanner Tessmann started in the middle of the park for the visitors, putting in a significant amount of work on both the attacking and defensive end. He had 66 touches over his 90 minutes of play, completed 86% of his 49 passing attempts, took a pair of shots while setting up one chance, accurately hit five of his seven long ball attempts, made three clearances, nine recoveries, won half of his ten duels, and drew two fouls.
Gianluca Busio played just under a half-hour as as second-half sub, touching the ball just 15 times, while completing six out of eight passes and taking one shot.
Andrija Novakovich was on the short Venezia bench, but was not called into action by head coach Paolo Vanoli.
Just four minutes after the opening whistle, Tessmann nearly helped the on-fire Finnish striker Joel Pohjanpalo extend his three-game scoring streak, setting his teammate up for a distance shot that flew high and wide to the right.
The American then came close in the 20th minute, sending his own shot from outside the area well over the crossbar.
The 61-times capped Finnish international did eventually find his way onto the scoreboard in the 34th minute, rising high just beyond the upper right corner of the six-yard box to head Magnus Andersen’s cross from the right flank into the far side of the Alessandro Micai’s goal.
That goal continued Pohjanpalo’s remarkable run, which has seen him net seven times in their last four games, and leaving him one behind the division lead with 18 on the season.
Shortly after Busio entered the game in the 62nd minute for Andersen as a part of a double-switch, Tessmann took another crack at goal from outside of the area, only to see his attempt saved by Micai.
Venezia looked headed to a narrow win that would propel them into the playoff spots, only to have their hearts broken at the death when Christian D’Urso headed in a cross from Alessandro Cortinovis, beating Jesse Joronen at the lower left corner.
The result leaves Venezia in tenth place, two spots behind the final promotion playoff place, but only trailing based on tiebreakers. They have a mixed bag for their final two games, which could see their fortunes go either way. They will host likely relegated team Perugia on Saturday, then close the regular season with a visit to current fifth-place team Parma on May 19.
Unsurprisingly, Sergiño Dest was not in uniform for AC Milan for their 2-0 win over Lazio on Saturday.