Spezia Resist to Udinese with One Man Less to Capture First Win

Spezia didn’t have to wait too much to capture their first, historical win in the Italian top-flight as they shocked Udinese in a rescheduled fixture from match-day one on Wednesday. Vincenzo Italiano’s Aquile beat the Friulani 2-0 with an Andrey Galabinov brace – with the 31-year-old Bulgarian striker already presenting his candidacy as a potential sensation in the Serie A season.

Luca Gotti’s Udinese conceded their second 0-1 loss in a row and, aside from the multiple absences (including all of his four center midfielders…) that surely limited their output on the pitch today, appeared soft and lacking ideas. Good for them that there are four additional teams keeping them company at the bottom of the table, but the Friulani have not put together a good show in their first two Serie A outings.

Vincenzo Italiano made six changes from the lineup that had lost 1-4 to Sassuolo in a frankly forgettable Serie A debut one week ago. It seemed a wise decision. Only one minute and a half was gone when Matteo Ricci showed that Spezia were not joking today as he finalized a corner kick action with a sharp right-foot shot from outside of the area. Too bad that the goal was disallowed on ground of offside.

But, in the 30th minute, there was no one to stop Andrey Galabinov as he went high to score his second headed goal in a row to put the visitors ahead from a Emmanuel Gyasi cross. Spezia’s opener was, however, also courtesy of Rodrigo Becao’s poor marking on Gyasi and Juan Musso’s revisable goalkeeping.

With three goals in two games, Andrey Galabinov is the current Serie A top scorer and already a potential candidate to the Serie A sensation of the season…all this at the tender age of 31!

Spezia appeared aggressive in the first period and controlled Luca Gotti’s Friulani quite easily, even in view of their multiple absences. Udinese were more proactive after the break but, with still no scoring chances in sight, Gotti went for his first substitution 10 minutes into the restart as he replaced 18-year-old midfielder Martin Palumbo with seasoned Fernando Forestieri, followed by Ilija Nestorovski in place of Stefano Okaka a few minutes later.

Spezia’s Vincenzo Italiano had a different kind of problem as he had to replace his goalkeeper Jeroen Zoet with 38-year-old Rafael de Andrade due to a groin injury. The Brazilian keeper did hold his own, however, just a few seconds after setting foot on the pitch as he denied Kevin Lasagna on a one-on-one.

More problems for the visitors came when Claudio Terzi was booked for the second time and left his side to play with one man less for more than 20 minutes. Italiano’s answer to that was a triple substitution as he threw Martin Erlic, Tommaso Pobega, and Diego Farias in the mix.

Spezia were however able to hold off and Udinese side that appeared at loss of options without much trouble, except for a Nestorovski header that came dangerously close to the goal target and a Forestieri shot during stoppage time that found Rafael ready to deny the challenge once again.

The Brazilian keeper cooperated with Galabinov to put another one in the net as he produced a long-range throw-in that, with the Udinese lineup completely unbalanced, was turned by the Bulgarian striker into his third seasonal goal and Spezia’s second of the day. The celebration could start, but it was all for the Bianconeri of Spezia tonight.



September 30, 2020 – Serie A 2020-2021 Round 1

SCORERS: 29′ Galabinov, 94′ Galabinov

UDINESE (3-5-2): Musso; Becao, De Maio, Samir; Coulibaly, De Paul, Palumbo (55′ Forestieri), Ter Avest, Zeegelaar; Okaka (62′ Nestorovski), Lasagna (Nicolas, Gasparini, Prodl, Battistella, Micin, Ouwejan, Nestorovski, Matos) Coach: Gotti
SPEZIA (4-3-3): Zoet (62′ Rafael); Ferrer, Terzi, Chabot, Ramos; Deiola, Ricci, Maggiore (67′ Pobega); Verde (67′ Farias), Galabinov, Gyasi (67′ Erlic) (Krapikas, Sala, Marchizza, Bartolomei, Mora, Agoume, Agudelo, Piccoli) Coach: Italiano

REFEREE: Mr. Prontera from Bologna
NOTES: Yellow Cards: Terzi, Ferrer, Ramos, Farias (S); Red Card: Terzi (S); Extra Time: 1st Half 1′, 2nd Half 5′