Cagliari and Bari shared the spoils at the Unipol Domus Arena in the first leg of a playoff to determine the final participant to the Serie A 2023/24. Italian-Peruvian striker Gianluca Lapadula opened the scoring for Claudio Ranieri’s Sardinians early in the game, but a late spot kick from Mirco Antenucci set the score at 1-1 on 95 minutes.
Cagliari’s goalkeeper Boris Radunovic was the man of the match as he denied Morocco international Walid Cheddira from the penalty spot on 37 minutes, then authored at least four more decisive saves that preserved the Isolani‘s lead until stoppage time.
Then Bari were awarded a second penalty for a Giorgio Altare foul on Michael Folorunsho, and the Galletti‘s coach Michele Mignani sent in the veteran Antenucci to convert the spot kick – which he did.
Antenucci’s late equalizer gives Bari a slight advantage as the two sides prepare to square off again next Sunday for the return match. The Galletti will get a Serie A ticket if they either win or tie. That would be the first time in Serie A for Bari since 2011.
Claudio Ranieri and Cagliari, on the other hand, have no choice but win if they want to regain top-flight status after one year of Serie B. That is because, if the two sides are tied on goals, there will be no extra times and promotion will be awarded to the team that ranked best in the Serie B table during the regular season.
Bari grabbed the third spot in the table, just behind Frosinone and Genoa who gained direct promotion to the top-flight.
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