Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 22nd 2014 Contents A56
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Monday, December 22, 2014
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Sampdoria and Genoa missed the chance to end
the year in third spot as both teams failed to win
in the final round of Serie A fixtures before the
winter break yesterday.
Sampdoria was held to a 2-2 draw at home to
Udinese to leave it behind third-place Napoli on goal
difference, while Genoa remained a point further
back after losing 2-1 at relegation-threatened Torino.
Earlier, Chievo Verona beat city rival Hellas Verona
1-0 in a heated derby match.
Also, Fiorentina was held to a 1-1 draw by Empoli,
while Atalanta fought back from two goals down to
draw 3-3 at home to Palermo.
Sampdoria was in confident mood after holding
league leader Juventus to a 1-1 draw in Turin last
weekend and it took the lead in the 15th minute.
Udinese goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis could only
punch clear Angelo Palombo’s cross and it went
straight to Pedro Obiang, who turned into the empty
However, the match turned in four minutes as
Alexander Geijo scored his first Serie A goal
in his first start to level matters shortly
before Danilo was left unmarked to head
Udinese in front. Manolo Gabbiadini headed
Lorenzo Di Silvestri’s cross into the top right
corner on the hour mark in what could have
been his last match for Sampdoria before
a likely January move to Napoli.
Geijo almost scored a late winner but his
header thumped the post.
Udinese was reduced to 10 men two min-
utes from time when Thomas Heurtaux was
sent off following a second yellow card.
Genoa started the day level with Samp
and Lazio on 26 points, and last weekend’s
defeat to Roma was its first league loss in
more than two months. Iago Falque fired
Genoa in front shortly before halftime but
Torino captain Kamil Glik scored twice from
close range after the interval.
Fiorentina failed to capitalize on the results
of those above it as it remained eighth, three
points behind Napoli, after an entertaining
Juan Manuel Vargas had given Fiorentina
the lead with a fierce strike after Empoli
failed to clear a corner but Lorenzo Tonelli
escaped his marker to nod in a Mirko Vald-
ifiori corner from six yards. Chievo snatched
victory in the other derby of the day but
replays showed Alberto Paloschi was offside
as he headed in Ervin Zukanovic’s superb
cross into the box with nine minutes remain-
ing. Both sides also had penalty claims
Nene had gone closest for Verona when
he headed a corner just over the crossbar,
while Chievo’s Ivan Radovanovic almost
scored a wonder goal but Verona goalkeeper
Francesco Benussi was alert to turn the
effort from near the halfway line over his
Samp, Genoa miss chance to end year third
BERLIN—Joselu’s late equaliser salvaged a 2-2
draw for Hannover at Freiburg and left the home
side bottom of the Bundesliga for the league’s six-
week winter break yesterday.
The Spanish striker struck in the third minute
of injury time when an attempted clearance from
Freiburg goalkeeper Roman Buerki went straight to
his feet. Freiburg would have climbed out of the
relegation zone with a win, but remains bottom
on goal difference from Borussia Dortmund. Both
sides have 15 points at the halfway stage of the sea-
Hannover twice hit the post in the first half,
through Jimmy Briand and then Joselu before Mike
Frantz scored against the run of play for Freiburg
before the break. Felix Klaus struck the post for
the hosts seconds after the restart, and Admir
Mehmedi struck the crossbar, before Marc-Oliver
Kempf made it 2-0 in the 81st with his shoulder
from a corner. Kempf was fortunate to be still on
the pitch after an earlier tactical foul on Lars Stindl
while the last defender.
Stindl set up Leonardo Bittencourt to pull one
back two minutes later and Joselu ended the home
side’s celebrations before they could begin.
“We did a lot right in the second half. Pity to
get such a knockout blow again,” said Freiburg cap-
tain Julian Schuster, whose side has often dropped
points late this season.
Earlier, Hertha Berlin slumped to a 5-0 loss at
home to Hoffenheim, increasing the hosts’ relegation
fears. United States defender John Anthony Brooks
had a difficult afternoon, scoring an own goal in
the 23rd minute and giving away a penalty two
minutes later, when he struck Hoffenheim’s Sven
Schipplock with an attempted clearance.
Sejad Salihovic punished his former side from
the spot, and then again with another penalty in
the 39th — awarded after Andreas Beck went down
after apparent contact from Nico Schulz. However,
TV replays showed the Hoffenheim captain had
slipped. Hertha coach Jos Luhukay’s last gambit
was the introduction of forwards Salomon Kalou
and Sandro Wagner in the 72nd, only for his side
to concede to Schipplock on a counterattack two
minutes later. Roberto Firmino, who had given
Schipplock a tap-in, capitalised on Peter Niemeyer’s
mistake to set up Sebastian Rudy in the 84th.
Hertha will spend the winter break in 13th place
on 18 points, one above Werder Bremen in the rel-
egation playoff spot.
Hoffenheim is seventh on 26 points after its
biggest ever Bundesliga win.
Unbeaten Bayern Munich leads by 11 points with
a Bundesliga-record 45 from the first half of the
Freiburg denied by Joselu’s
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