Torino came back twice to snatch a point in stoppages, as Crotone were left to rue what might’ve been.
It was a special game for Crotone Coach Davide Nicola, who wore the Granata jersey in 2005-06. To celebrate his side’s amazing Serie A safety, he spent the summer cycling from Crotone in Calabria all the way up to his hometown of Turin, where he was given a hero’s welcome at the Torino landmark Filadelfia arena.
Aleksandar Tonev and Marco Tumminello missed out for the hosts, while Andrea Belotti, Joel Obi and Lyanco were injured, so Umar Sadiq – on loan from Roma – took over as Toro centre-forward.
The last time Crotone beat Toro was a 1-0 Serie B fixture in April 2010, followed by four draws and two losses, home and away.
It was the Squali who took a surprise lead with Marcus Rohden’s well-taken solo effort. He cut inside down the left side of the box, curling a right-foot strike in off the inside of the far post.
The Granata fought back, but Sadiq hesitated and was closed down by Federico Ceccherini, then Alex Cordaz has his gloves stung by a Tomas Rincon left-foot scorcher and M’Baye Niang effort.
Torino thought they had equalised when Cordaz clawed an Adem Ljajic free kick away, but goal-line technology confirmed it was just millimetres from being completely over.
It didn’t matter, as the move continued and Iago Falque’s left-foot curler from the edge of the box flew into the far corner.
Niang got on the end of another Ljajic free kick to test Cordaz, but Crotone restored their lead with some wonderful one-touch football.
Rolando Mandragora’s pass was knocked on by Simy for Bruno Martella to toe-poke in from 12 yards at full stretch.
N’Koulou saw his header from a corner skim the crossbar, but deep into stoppages Torino equalised again with Lorenzo De Silvestri nodding in another Ljajic corner.
It still wasn’t over, as Crotone still nearly snatched a winner with Andrea Nalini shaking off De Silvestri for an angled drive beaten away by Sirigu at the near post.