Goal by Pavoletti in the 94th minute
Cagliari is back in Serie A, twelve months after last season’s bitter relegation. After last Thursday’s 1-1 draw at home, the Sardinians prevailed 1-0 at ‘San Nicola’, in the second leg of the Serie B playoffs, thanks to a goal by Pavoletti in the 94th minute.
At the start of the game, the match had long moments of study with little acceleration with Cagliari trying to push harder with only one result available: the double chance came shortly after the 10th minute with Dossena heading first and then Deiola putting it back in the middle with the ball crossing the entire goal line without finding deviations. Bari responded with a couple of accelerations from Cheddira with the Sardinian defense suffering, but keeping a good guard. The two best chances come around 20′ with Luvumbo on one side and Benedetti on the other who call the two goalkeepers to make a save. Cagliari is always the most dangerous team especially on inactive balls with Dossena and Lapadula who tower over their opponents without beating Caprile, while Di Pardo at the end of a counter-attack calls the Apulian number one to make a big save.
At the start of the second half, Bari threw away a very tempting opportunity to put the challenge even further downhill, but the newcomer Ricci shot badly on the outside, giving only the illusion of a goal. However, it is always Cagliari who keep the ball in the game even if they don’t besiege the area of the Apulians vehemently in the first minutes of the second half. Even the changes, designed to give more weight to the attack, did not change the inertia of the match for long stretches which is all in favor of a Bari who manages and occasionally tries to restart, but without incisiveness. It was again Caprile who saved his goals in the 75th minute following yet another header by Dossena. Ten minutes later Bari goes very close to scoring with a sensational crossbar hit by Folorunsho.
The decisive move is that of Ranieri who sends Pavoletti onto the field in full recovery. Just the centre-forward ‘freezes’ San Nicola with a goal from him as a real area striker with the complicity of a defense which however is not impeccable on the occasion. Cheddira could write another story after a mistake by Randunovic, but he is unable to put a ball into the net that seemed only to be pushed inside.