Samp condemned to 3-2 defeat by Benevento

Sampdoria slipped to a 3-2 defeat at Benevento on Saturday as they failed to get their 2018 off to a winning start at the Stadio Ciro Vigorito.

There was a tight start to the match in Campania, with both teams aiming to get the measure of their opponents. Samp made the first half-chance of the game, as Fabio Quagliarella picked out Gaston Ramirez in the Benevento area only for Vid Belec to come out to claim the ball at feet. Soon afterwards, Ramirez pulled a corner back for Lucas Torreira to hit one from range, but the midfielder pulled his shot wide.

The match looked set to be goalless at half time, but in the first minute of added time Quagliarella exchanged passes with Ramirez, surging into the box and sending a shot towards Belec’s goal. The Benevento keeper kept the initial effort out, but Gianluca Caprari was there to slot home the rebound and hand Samp a 1-0 lead at the break.

Benevento had a great chance to equalise straight after the break, as Coda ghosted in at the back post to thump a volley just over the crossbar. And there was more danger for Samp shortly afterwards, as Torreira showed his defensive prowess in stopping the onrushing Coda before getting his body in the way of Alberto Brignola’s follow-up shot despite finding himself prostrate on the turf.

Despite Marco Giampaolo’s efforts to wrestle back momentum by sending on Karol Linetty and Dawid Kownacki, the pressure would eventually tell: from a lofted ball over the top, Coda left Gian Marco Ferrari for dead before checking back on his left and curling a fine strike past Viviano and into the back of the net for 1-1. It was a bitter blow for Samp but no less than the home side deserved.

The bad news did not stop there for Doria. On 83 minutes, Jacopo Sala was penalised for a clumsy challenge on the onrushing Marco D’Alessandro, prompting the referee to extract a red card and award Benevento a free-kick on the edge of the Samp box. Up stepped Coda, who whipped the ball up and over the wall and inside the near post for 2-1.

Benevento were riding high now, adding a third goal through Brignola in added time, and though Kownacki pulled one back for Doria immediately afterwards, there was to be no preventing a deeply disappointing 3-2 defeat for Giampaolo’s side.

Benevento 3-2 Sampdoria (HT: 0-1)
Scorers: Caprari 45+1, Coda 69, 84, Brignola 90+1, Kownacki 90+4.

Benevento (3-4-3): Belec; Djimsiti, Lucioni, Costa (Billong HT); Venuti, Memushaj, Viola, Lombardi (Gyamfi 81); Brignola, Coda, Puscas (D’Alessandro 58).
Subs not used: Brignoli, Letizia, Del Pinto, Chibsah, Volpicelli, Armenteros, Sparandeo, Gravillon.
Coach: Roberto De Zerbi.

Sampdoria (4-3-1-2): Viviano; Sala, Silvestre, Ferrari, Regini; Barreto, Torreira (Verre 76), Praet (Linetty 59); Ramirez; Caprari (Kownacki 68), Quagliarella.
Subs not used: Puggioni, Tozzo, Andersen, Dodo, Bereszynski, Murru, Tessiore, Zapata.
Coach: Marco Giampaolo.

Referee: Manganiello.
Assistants: Mondin, Peretti.
Fourth official: Martinelli.
VAR: Gavillucci, Di Paolo.

Yellow cards: Brignola 32, Barreto 60.
Red cards: Sala 83.

Added time: 1 + 4 minutes.