Sampdoria are back in Serie A after a last-gasp Nicola Pozzi counter-attack secured their play-off final victory away to Varese.
The first leg was a dramatic and thrilling 3-2 victory for Samp, but away goals do not count in these promotion play-offs. Therefore, if Varese won the second leg, the tie would be decided on goal difference or if all square the team that finished higher up the standings.
Neto Pereira and Emmanuel Rivas had early chances, but on 29 minutes Christian Terlizzi knocked down a cross for Neto Pereira’s screamer to crack against the Samp crossbar.
At the other end, Varese needed a double goalline clearance as Raffaele Pucino denied Pozzi’s header, then Terlizzi blocked the Roberto Soriano follow-up from point-blank range.
Walter Bressan’s gloves were stung by a Fernandes Garcia Renan free kick and Pozzi had penalty appeals for a collision with Alessandro Camisa. Eder failed to make the most of a Terlizzi error by scuffing his finish, picking up an injury in the process.
In the final minutes Varese went so close to a winner with Gianvito Plasmati’s header just wide from six yards.
Sampdoria started the promotion party in stoppages with a classic counter-attack, as Andrea Rispoli threaded through for Pozzi to beat Bressan in a one-on-one. The Blucerchiati won both legs of this play-off final and are back in Serie A!
Varese 0-1 Sampdoria
Scorers: Pozzi 90 (S)
Varese: Bressan; Pucino (De Luca 67), Camisa, Terlizzi, Cacciatore; Nadarevic, Corti, Kurtic, Rivas; Granoche (Plasmati 71), Neto Pereira (Martinetti 86)
Sampdoria: Da Costa; Rispoli, Gastaldello, Rossini, Costa; Renen, Munari (Laczko 74), Obiang; Soriano; Pozzi (Foggia 93), Eder (Pelle 58)