Salernitana held on to a slender 1-0 defeat at Venezia when down to 10 men and triumphed in the penalty shoot-out to maintain their Serie B status.
Venezia go down to Serie C along with Foggia, Padova and Carpi, as Palermo won their appeal against punishment for financial irregularities that had originally sent them into last place, getting away with a 20-point penalty that left them mid-table.
The first leg ended 2-1 for Salernitana, although a last-gasp Gianmarco Zigoni goal kept the Lagunari in the running. It was still tough for Venezia, who needed to win by one clear goal to force extra time and two clear goals to win the tie, as away goals do not count in these playouts.
The game changed just before half-time, as Marco Modolo smashed a screamer into the far top corner from the edge of the box to give Venezia the lead.
Moments later, former Lazio man Joseph Minala was sent off for lashing out an elbow on Modolo, so Salernitana went down to 10 men.
It remained in the balance, with chances at either end for Djavan Anderson and Alessandro Rossi. As the match wore on, Salernitana goalkeeper Alessandro Micai was increasingly under pressure, performing saves on Cristiano Lombardi and a Maurizio Domizzi header.
Marco Pinato missed a sitter from point-blank range, firing over with 10 minutes left on the clock, so they went to extra time.
Rossi had the ball in the net, but it was ruled offside, then Zigoni almost scored from midfield and Micai was again decisive on Lombardi’s header.
Relegation to Serie C was eventually decided on a tense penalty shoot-out. Micai was the hero yet again, parrying from Simone Bentivoglio, then Mauro Coppolaro blasted over the bar to send Venezia down.
Venezia 1-0 Salernitana (2-2 agg, 2-4 on pens)
Modolo 41 (V)
Sent off: Minala 45 (S)
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