Thursday June 8 2017
Serie A: Benvenuto, Benevento!

Benevento are in Serie A for the first time in their history after beating Carpi 1-0 in the Serie B promotion play-off Final.

They go into the top flight along with Hellas Verona and Spal. It'll be the first time we see a Campania Derby in Serie A since Avellino-Napoli in 1987-88.

The first leg ended 0-0 at Carpi’s Stadio Cabassi and the decider was at Benevento’s Stadio Vigorito, where the hosts were hoping for a second consecutive promotion.

Just a year ago, they were celebrating their first ever foray into Serie B, but were here on the verge of an historic step into the top flight.

They had the upper hand, as in the promotion play-offs, a draw on aggregate sees the team that finished higher in the regular season go through rather than use away goals. However, Coach Marco Baroni had Filippo Falco and Fabrizio Melara suspended.

Jerry Mbakogu forced an early save and it was end-to-end stuff from the start, George Puscas flashing a dangerous effort across the face of goal.

Mbakogu turned his marker for a curling strike that skimmed the base of the far post and Vid Belec did well to smother Fabio Lucioni’s volley from close range.

Inter-owned Puscas should’ve scored on the half-hour mark when squirming between two defenders, but his finish was toe-poked inches past the upright by Belec in a desperate reaction save.

Moments later, Puscas did find the breakthrough for Benevento, as he fired into the roof of the net from close range after great work down the right from Lorenzo Venuti.

After the restart, Nicolas Viola was so close to a second goal, but his astonishing scorcher from 35 metres out smacked against the upright.

Carpi were dangerous from set plays, an Enej Jelenic free kick charged down and Malick Mbaye volleying over from a corner, then Antonio Di Gaudio’s strike from the edge of the box scraped the post.

Substitute Kevin Lasagna’s cross-shot was deflected on to the side-netting, but Alessio Cragno needed treatment after Mbaye accidentally kicked him in the head as the goalkeeper bravely smothered at his feet. Cragno was patched up with a special Benevento-coloured red and yellow bandage.

At the final whistle, the Benevento players on the bench sprayed their hair with red and yellow dye.

Benevento 1-0 Carpi

Puscas 33 (B)

Benevento: Cragno; Venuti, Camporese, Lucioni, Pezzi (Padella 91); Chibsah, Viola; Eramo, Puscas (Cisse 72), Lopez (Del Pinto 79); Ceravolo
Carpi: Belec; Struna (Sabbione 20), Poli (Lasagna 51), Romagnoli, Letizia; Jelenic, Bianco, Mbaye, Di Gaudio; Lollo (Fedato 73); Mbakogu

Ref: Pasqua

Image via Beneventocalcioclub