Radja Nainggolan scored with the last kick on Sunday as Cagliari drew 2-2 with Sampdoria in Serie A in what was a dramatic end to a hard-fought game at the Stadio Luigis Ferraris.
Casteddu went into the game after having seen Torino lose away to Crotone and Parma draw with Fiorentina, knowing that a win would further aid their relegation survival cause, in the end settling for a point to ensure Leonardo Semplici’s unbeaten start as coach.
Joao Pedro’s 13th Serie A goal of the season looked as though it would hand Semplici his third win in as many games but second-half goals from Bartosz Bereszynski and Manolo Gabbiadini turned it around for the Blucerchiati, before Nainggolan’s first of the season won Casteddu a point at the death.
Pedro gave Cagliari the lead in the 11th minute and it was well deserved. The striker had brought two smart saves from Emil Audero in the opening ten minutes, before finally rifling home a rebound off yet another impressive stop from the Sampdoria goalkeeper.
Sampdoria thought they had been awarded a penalty just four minutes later for a Daniele Rugani foul on Keita Balde but the Senegalese forward was called offside after a brief VAR check. The two teams fought hard, but they headed in with the hosts trailing by one goal at the break.
The majority of the second half offered little in the way of clear-cut chances, with Gaston Ramirez and Radja Nainggolan seeing long-range efforts saved easily for the Blucerchiati and Casteddu respectively.
That was until, Bartosz Bereszynski scored his first goal for Sampdoria in the 78th minute, hammering the ball past Alessio Cragno at his near post after a long ball from Ramirez that was probably intended for Fabio Quagliarella.
Just two minutes later, substitute Manolo Gabbiadini unleashed another unstoppable strike past Cragno from Quagliarella’s pass to give Claudio Ranieri’s side the lead and what should have been the three points.
Then, with what was the last kick of the game, a long ball was won by Leonardo Pavoletti before it fell scrappily to Nainggolan who unleashed a trademark shot into the bottom corner from outside the area, leaving Audero with no chance.
The point comes as good news to Semplici, particularly after Torino’s heavy defeat at Crotone earlier in the day.