National Play-offs Round 1, Catania 0-1 Atalanta U23s

Diao's goal didn't suffice

Although the Angelo Massimino game culminated in a 1-0 win for Atalanta, Siren Diao’s goal in full Zona Cesarini and the Nerazzurri’s outstanding display didn’t suffice to extend their journey in the 2023-2024 Serie C NOW Playoffs: despite having lost at home and hence drawn on aggregate, Catania still made it to the Second Round of the National Stage on the grounds of being the seeded team.

Starting off on the offensive, coach Modesto’s lads racked up two goal chances within minutes: first came Capone, who saw his 4-minute curler defused by Furlan, followed by Ghislandi who, upon gathering the ball from a corner-kick delivery, unleashed a powerful ranged finish in the 6th minute forcing Furlan’s save. The hosts’ retaliation came on 19 minutes when Chiricò rolled a pinpoint pass across finding Cicirelli, who finished high in the mano-a-mano with Vismara. Closing the first half on the offensive, Atalanta U23s upped the ante: after Cissé fired off target one-on-one with Furlan on 37 minutes, then came Diao 60 seconds later who saw his shot deflected by the opposing keeper.

The second half opened up with the Nerazzurri back at it as Capone forced Furlan to perform a great goalkeeping display on 49 minutes to deny the black-and-blue CAM’s shot. As time went by neither team shied away from the challenge, piling up plenty of goal chances: while Vlahovic saw his 64th-minute effort on Ghislandi’s pass negated by yet another miraculous save from Furlan; the hosts tried to capitalize on the Nerazzurri’s high lines and sting on the counter with Marsura who, after finishing poorly on 72 minutes, he then got wrongfooted by Vismara and fluffed his lines in the following mano-a-mano. Although the stalemate seemed here to stay after reigning supreme throughout both halves, it was Diao who broke the deadlock with a great headed finish from a corner-kick on 92 minutes. Nonetheless, the home side had a chance to equalise right before the final whistle as Castellini smacked the post in the 97th minute.


Scorer(s): Diao 92 (A)

Catania: Furlan, Bouah, Quaini, Welbeck-Maseko, Castellini (C), Celli, Cicerelli (Tello 46), Chiricò (Marsura 46), Zammarini (Kontek 82), Monaco (Ndoj 86), Cianci (Di Carmine 75). Unused subs: Donato, Albertoni, Curado, Haveri, Rapisarda, Sturaro, Costantino, Chiarella. Coach: Michele Zeoli.

Atalanta U23s: Vismara, Palestra, Gyabuaa, Capone (C) (Vlahović 55), Cisse, Varnier (Comi 67), Ghislandi, Solcia (Muhameti 55), Jimenez, Bernasconi, De Nipoti (Diao 25). Unused subs: Bertini, Avogadri, Berto, Masi, Regonesi, Falleni. Coach: Francesco Modesto.

Referee: Marco Emmanuele from Pisa;
Assistant referees: Francesco Romano from Isernia and Nicola Morea from Molfetta;
Fourth official: Ermes Fabrizio Cavaliere from Paola;
V.A.R.: Luigi Nasca from Bari;
A.V.A.R.: Salvatore Longo from Paola.

Notes: Varnier (A), Chiricò (C) and Cianci (C) booked.

  • 18/05/2024
  • Under 23