Benevento fought back for their second consecutive Serie A win, a five-goal thriller with 10-man Sampdoria, as Massimo Coda revived safety ambitions.
Le Streghe finally earned their first ever Serie A victory last week, beating Chievo 1-0, and were eager to start 2018 on the right foot to what would be an amazing comeback. They ended the first half of the season with only four points under their belts. Amato Ciciretti, Luca Antei, Pietro Iemmello, Achraf Lazaar, Vittorio Parigini and Andrea Costa all missed out. Samp ended a poor run of one point from five matches with a last-gasp 2-0 victory over SPAL. Ivan Strinic and Ricky Alvarez were injured, with Duvan Zapata only fit for the bench.
Lucas Torreira’s screamer flashed just wide and Samp broke through on the stroke of half-time.
Fabio Quagliarella ran on to a Gaston Ramirez assist down the left, his angled drive was beaten away at the near post, but only into the path of Gianluca Caprari to follow up.
Benevento gave Billong his Serie A debut in the second half and almost equalised within four minutes, but Massimo Coda’s header on a Ledian Memushaj cross bounced off the top of the bar.
Coda hit the frame of the goal again on 56 minutes, this time his low drive from outside the box hitting the base of the upright.
At the third attempt, Coda got the ball in the net with a spectacular strike. He cut inside on to his left foot down the right side of the box and curled a ferocious stunner into the far top corner.
Benevento were about to take the lead on 83 minutes when Marco D’Alessandro was brought down on the edge of the area by Jacopo Sala for a straight red card. From the resulting free kick, Coda curled over the wall and Emiliano Viviano couldn’t keep it out, even though he got a hand to the ball.
Samp tried to push forward, but left themselves open on the counter and Coda rolled across for Brignola to tap in from six yards.
It still wasn’t over, as deep into stoppages Dawid Kownacki dribbled down the left and dinked the finish past the goalkeeper at the near post.
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Sent off: Sala 83 (S)