Spezia and Benevento played out a tense 1-1 draw at the Stadio Alberto Picco on Saturday afternoon, a result that helps neither side in the fight to avoid relegation.
Benevento took the lead in the first half through debutant Adolfo Gaich, but Spezia’s pressure in the second half paid off as Daniele Verde pulled them level. Spezia finished the game the strongest but couldn’t force a winner.
After a relatively even start, Gaich gave Benevento the lead on his Serie A debut with 24 minutes gone. The man known by El Tanque – the same name as compatriot and ex-Atalanta forward German Denis – was played into the box by Nicolas Viola and calmly cut inside to slot past Jeroen Zoet. The 21-year-old Argentine joined on loan from CSKA Moscow in January and is very highly rated.
Spezia showed almost no invention in the first half until a vicious snapshot from Verde at the end of the half that was well saved by Lorenzo Montipo. Ardian Ismajili wasted a good headed chance from the resulting corner.
Spezia were positive in the second half without really hurting Benevento. That changed on the 70th minute when Diego Farias squeezed a pass across the six-yard box which was scrambled off the goal line. It fell to Verde who smashed it in from close range.
Spezia continued to push for a crucial winner, with Martin Erlic hitting the bar from close range. Benevento didn’t test Zoet at all in the second half.
These two teams were both tipped by many to be relegated this season, but they’ve overachieved so far. That being said neither are safe yet and will need to work hard to avoid a tense survival fight. The 1-1 draw leaves Spezia and Benevento in 14th and 15th respectively, both on 26 points.