Sampdoria held on to a draw at Sassuolo to reach the promotion play-off final, but it required a dramatic late goalline clearance.
The Blucerchiati had fought back to win the first leg of this semi-final 2-1, so knew even a draw would be enough to send them through in Modena.
They got off to the perfect start, as Eder was sandwiched between two Sassuolo defenders to earn a contentious penalty that Nicola Pozzi successfully converted.
Sassuolo thought they had equalised, but Alessandro Longhi was flagged marginally offside. They had a remarkable double chance on 36 minutes, as first Junior Da Costa parried Longhi’s strike, then Gianluca Sansone fired the follow-up just wide of the target from a tight angle.
Things did not change after the restart, as again Da Costa came to Sampdoria’s rescue by palming Francesco Manganelli’s screamer out from under the crossbar.
Gianni Munari wasted a great opportunity for Samp to double their lead on the counter and paid the price for that error.
The pressure did pay off in the end, as Sassuolo equalised with Carl Valeri springing the offside trap on Sansone’s pass to beat Da Costa in a one-on-one.
Simone Missiroli just failed to get on the end of Richmond Boakye’s assist at the back post as the visitors threatened to go in front, then Boakye went for goal himself to skim the woodwork from 30 metres.
Samp clung on to the draw in the final stages and were glad nobody was ready to tap in Gennaro Troianiello’s dangerous ball across the six-yard box.
At the 86th minute Troianiello again burst down the right and this time Sansone got on the end of the low cross, but Andrea Rispoli performed a decisive goalline clearance with his chest.
In stoppages Sassuolo player Marco Piccioni took his protests too far in wanting a corner and received a second yellow card.
The final will be a two-legged affair played on June 6 and 9.
Sampdoria 1-1 Sassuolo
Scorers: Pozzi pen 9 (Sam), Valeri 63 (Sas)
Sent off: Piccioni 94 (Sas)
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