A loss at Parma wasn’t enough to keep Tanner Tessmann and his fellow Americans at Venezia from qualifying for the Serie B promotion playoff, while Sergiño Dest’s lost season at AC Milan came one game closer to a merciful conclusion.
Parma Calcio 2 – 1 Venezia FC
Tanner Tessmann was once again a rock in Venezia’s midfield, as they kept their promotion hopes barely alive despite a loss at Parma in the final game of the regular season on Friday night.
Once again, Tessmann put in a lively, influential performance at the heart of the team’s midfield, playing 84 minutes before leaving in favor of fellow American Andrija Novakovich, in the process taking a pair of shots, setting up one further chance, completing 89% of his 37 passing attempts, blocking two shots, accurately firing 10 of his 13 attempted long balls, while drawing and committing two fouls.
Gianluca Busio also got in on the action, playing the final 28 minutes and completing 20 of 23 passes, as did Novakovic in his six-minute cameo.
In the opening minutes, Tessmann’s man Nahuel Estévez slipped the ball forward to Luca Zanimacchia who was making a run into the left side of the area, however his shot was easily stopped by ageless Venezia keeper Jesse Joronen.
In the 12th minute, the ball ricocheted off of Antonio Candela’s had as he tried to defend a cross from Dennis Man, allowing Franco Vázquez to coolly convert from the spot with a shot to the left edge of the goal.
Joel Pohjanpalo equalized for the visitors just before the half, leaping high at the edge of the six-yard box to head in Magnus Kofod Andersen’s corner.
Busio was brought on just past the hour mark for Mikael Egill Ellertsson, to give Venezia a pair of fresh legs in the midfield. However, they saw their dream for promotion nearly slip away 16 minutes later, despite playing toe-to-toe with their hosts.
In the 78th minute, Ange-Yoan Bonny ran onto a headed forward pass from beyond the midfield stipe, and was able to round the corner after his marking defender Marin Sverko missed his sliding tackle. This gave him the space to cut a short pass back to Drissa Camara for a one-timed finish from just beyond the spot, securing the victory.
Despite the loss, Venezia still barely sneak into the final promotion playoff spot, as they were able to still finish just ahead of ninth-place Palermo by way of goal differential.
The they will visit fifth-place Cagliari on Saturday in an all-or-nothing elimination game, with the winner moving on to face Parma over two legs in the semifinal.
Sergiño Dest, odd-man-out at AC Milan, was not in uniform on Saturday for the Rossoneri’s 5-1 thrashing of Sampdoria, a result which keeps them in the running for Champions League qualification.