Varese caused an upset by beating Hellas Verona 2-0 in the first leg of their Serie B promotion play-off.
It took just two minutes for Varese to break the deadlock, as Jasmin Kurtic curled a magnificent free kick in at the near post to surprise goalkeeper Rafael.
Both sides threatened with Neto Pereira, Emmanuel Rivas and Nicola Ferrari, but Hellas overall struggled to make much of an impact.
Varese doubled their lead in the final stages with Christian Terlizzi soaring above the crowd to nod in a corner.
In the semi-finals away goals and aggregate scores do not count. The teams receive three points for a win and one for a draw, so goal difference is only taken into consideration if they are level on points.
There is no extra time or penalties in the semi-finals. If the sides are level on points and goal difference, then the team that finished higher up the table during the season – in this case Verona – would go through.
Varese 2-0 Verona
Scorers: Kurtic 3 (Va), Terlizzi 78 (Va)