A saving defeat. Taranto falls in size to Messina but celebrates the arithmetic stay in the category two days after the epilogue of the regular season. And at the height of a week agitated by the sentence, final after the endless ringing of extensions and alchemy, inherent in the bankruptcy of Catania, therefore in the immediate and drastic exclusion of the Etna club from the group and the redefinition of the ranking and its scores . The rossoblu, who will not play the recovery match against the Sicilian rossazzurri, already scheduled for next Wednesday and valid for the 15th return day, canceled due to the Covid outbreak in the Ionian ranks, despite the subtraction of the three points relating to the match of ‘first leg, benefiting from the negative and contemporary results collected by Fidelis Andria, Paganese and Vibonese by respectively Picerno, Juve Stabia and Campobasso.
The ouster of Catania triggers, in fact, only one double play-out to define the third team destined for relegation, together with the Vibonese in the rear. Combinations and calculations this time propitious for the Ionian team, protagonist of a surprising first portion of the championship, during which it was awarded the laurels of best new promoted in the C series, thanks to a tactical and mnemonic synergy preparatory to the conquest of the thirty share in the standings prior to the postponed Christmas break. Surreal, compromised by episodes, accidents, errors of involution and a state of panic, on the other hand, turned out to be the second period of the competition: an obstacle course, complicated and dangerous, recently corrected and permeated by the favorable interweaving of Fate. For Ezio Raciti’s external performance against Messina, animated by an identical search for salvation, Giuseppe Laterza prefers the same eleven holder seen at work against Monopoli, also suggested by the announced defections of the two medians Marsili and Civilleri, both struggling with problems physicists: the team is drawn on the tactical chessboard of 4-2-3-1, in which the keys of the median are entrusted to the couple, original and well-matched, formed by the expert Di Gennaro and the exuberant Labriola, while the triptych of attacking midfielders again sees Versienti and De Maria, eclectic and leg wards, placed respectively on the right and left, with Giovinco in a central position to inspire Saraniti as the only effective striker of the role. Even the rear guard is not subjected to any metamorphosis: Riccardi and Ferrara preside over the low left and right wingers, while Zullo and Granata are punctual in the middle. Messina adopts a 4-3-3 and trusts in the propulsions of Fofana and Rizzo on the lanes, as well as on the nose of Piovaccari, assisted in the trident by the side Statella and Russo.
The first section of the game, devoted to equilibrium, records a more proactive Taranto, able to dominate spaces that could have been better exploited, through rational insertions, progressions on the flanks and trajectories to be guessed: the filter in the nerve area is clean, the numerical superiority it is sought after in duels and the pitfalls by the Peloritan antagonists arise only from restart actions. After eight rounds of hands, the rossoblu try to optimize a sequence of set pieces, with the strong wind blowing in favor: Riccardi shoots from the flag on the right and Zullo, stationed at the back post, intercepts with his head but sends on the outside the network. Versienti gets a free kick on the right side of the area: Di Gennaro is in charge of the serve, whose arched conclusion is rejected with his fists by goalkeeper Lewandowski. Messina leaves their own half and tries on 17 ‘with Damian who, propitiated by Piovaccari’s counterattack, concentrates for the throw deflected for a corner. Giovinco does not show conviction on the free kick obtained by Labriola on the left-handed side: his execution breaks on the barrier in the 23rd minute. The collective maneuver becomes fragmentary, perhaps influenced by an implicit apprehension, but it does not disdain order in terms of containment. At 39 ‘Ferrara is forced to abdicate from the dispute due to a muscular suffering: in his place, Laterza inserts Mastromonaco and places him on the right of the trocar, diverting Versienti to the opposite pole and moving De Maria back on the same left-handed chain. Giovinco performs in a left winger on the fly, oversized in the 43rd minute. The second half begins with a cue from Versienti on a wide cross made by Mastromonaco from the right in the 51st minute: the biancoscudata defense hinders and, on the next raid by Fofana, Granata is able to protect. The hosts ‘initiatives are marked but poor in repeated and foul interruptions of the game: at 64’ Piovaccari packs a short right in the heart of the area, but Chiorra is providential in the aerial catch. Mister Laterza experiences the three-way axis in the median, as hypothesized on the eve: the young Cannavaro takes over Giovinco and prepares to support Labriola and Di Gennaro. Raciti opts for the Busatto and Catania connections for Fofana and Statella respectively.
Messina reaches the advantage in a fortuitous way and in a moment in which reassuring news follow one another, linked to the heavy passives suffered by the competitors to salvation: in the 70 ‘, in fact, Rizzo produces a central low shot directly on a free kick from half field, Chiorra blocks but the ball escapes him sensationally and creeps over the goal line. The approximation seems to engulf the final portion of the match: Laterza tries to guarantee a tactical swerve with a triple change, protagonists Manneh, Falcone and Santarpia in place of Labriola, Mastromonaco and Versienti at 82. The last two rings belong to the epilogue and are distributed: at 87 ‘Konate for the Sicilians tries the gore, at the suggestion of Catania from the left-handed side; At 88 ‘Di Gennaro brushes a cross for Saraniti who hits a central header, facilitating Lewandowski’s save. And the triple whistle sanctions the official confirmation of the preservation of professionalism by both teams.