Sunday, April 5, 2009

Genoa outlast Reggina for 1-0 victory

In a stingy battle Genoa outlasted Calabrese side Reggina 1-0 on the strength of Thiago Motta's late goal. With the victory the Rossoblu maintain fourth-place in the Serie A table while further complicating Reggina's efforts to avoid relegation.

For much of the opening sequence the hosts showed an inspired effort far beyond their position in the table and made their supporters proud. Nevio Orlandi's midfield of Edgar Barreto, Carlos Carmona, Andrea Costa and former Slavia Praha man Matej Krajčík were causing fits for Genoa with vision and high work-rate. Franco Brienza continued his resurgent play and came with a whisper of giving the hosts the lead fifteen minutes in. Lagging without the services of Diego Milito, Genoa was lacking both the midfield vision and the bite up-top through the first forty-five minutes. With the restart Genoa began to assert itself with Raffaele Palladino having ample opportunity for the heroic goal but the final touch was lacking.

Eleven minutes into the new half, the most curious of substitutions were made as the match looked more like a chess board. As Gian Piero Gasperini looked towards Boško Janković, ex of Crvena zvezda, Reggina called upon Đorđe Rakić, an enterprising twenty-two year-old striker who came up through the ranks with OFK Beograd and undoubtedly has a future representing Serbia in international play.

Finally eight minutes after the hour Thiago Motta entered the match for Rubén Olivera and it worked like a charm. Ten minutes after entering the match, Raffaele Palladino created the winner as he slid a perfect pass across from the right for Thiago Motta to side foot in from four metres. Needing to lock down the match Gian Piero Gasperini had one last substitution to make, bringing in young Greek international Sokratis Papastrathopoulos for Giuseppe Biava to snuff out Reggina's advances. While the hosts pushed forward it was to no avail and the match concluded without further mark.