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Napoli held as Cagliari’s Luvumbo scores late to cancel out Osimhen’s effort



Luvumbo scored late in added time to salvage a 1-1 draw for Cagliari at home to Napoli on Sunday, after Nigeria’s Victor Osimhen had given the visitors the lead.

Defending champions Napoli remain ninth in the standings on 37 points, while Cagliari stay second from bottom with 20 points.

After a scoreless first half, Osimhen found the net with a header in the 65th minute which looked enough to take all three points before Luvumbo struck at the death.

“I’ve been missing a goal for a long time, I scored in front of my fans, it’s a huge happiness,” Luvumbo told reporters.

Francesco Calzona, who took over as Napoli manager from Walter Mazzarri on Monday, has now drawn his opening two games, after the midweek Champions League tie with Barcelona also finished 1-1.

Sunday’s game never promised to be a goal-fest, with Napoli failing to score in their last five away games.

While Cagliari had scored 23 goals in 25 league games, and the first half offered little in the way of clear-cut chances.

Napoli had the majority of possession but it was Cagliari on the counter who at least provided some attacking threat.

The hosts thought they had the lead when Amir Rrahmani headed a free kick into his own net, but it was disallowed for offside.

The second half saw little improvement until the 64th minute when Osimhen powered a header from a corner into the ground but it bounced safely into the hands of the Cagliari goalkeeper.

A minute later the Nigerian striker made no mistake.

Cagliari’s Tommaso Augello was dispossessed by Giacomo Raspadori on the right wing and his floated cross found Osimhen unmarked at the back post for an easy header to finally break the deadlock.

Napoli had chances late on to secure the win, with unmarked Matteo Politano firing wide, and Giovanni Simeone shooting straight at the keeper from close range in added time.

They were made to pay for those spurned chances.

With time running out, Alberto Dossena hit a hopeful long ball which fell to Luvumbo in the area who turned and struck on the half volley into the top corner to set off wild celebrations from the home fans.

“Napoli found the goal from our mistake, luckily they didn’t double their lead.

“But our fans supported us and we deservedly equalised,” Cagliari manager Claudio Ranieri told a press conference.

Cagliari may be without a win in their last six, but after four consecutive defeats, two draws have given them valuable points in their fight against relegation, drawing them level on points with Sassuolo who are in the safety zone.

As for Napoli, their third manager this season, Calzona, has much to do if they are to rescue something from this campaign, with a Champions League qualification place still a long way off.

Victor Okoye

NEWSVERGE, published by The Verge Communications is an online community of international news portal and social advocates dedicated to bringing you commentaries, features, news reports from a Nigerian-African perspective. A unique organization, founded in the spirit of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, comprising of ordinary people with an overriding commitment to seeking the truth and publishing it without fear or favour. The Verge Communications is fully registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a corporate organization.



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