Spezia scored twice late on to complete a dramatic comeback against Crotone to win 3-2 at the Stadio Alberto Picco on Saturday afternoon.
Simy Nwankwo’s 16 of the season looked to have sealed all three points for I Pitagorici after Daniele Verde had cancelled out Koffi Djidji’s fine opener. But Giulio Maggiore’s 89th-minute equaliser was followed up by a 92nd-minute winner from Spezia’s Martin Erlic.
Crotone’s first came from an unlikely source. On-loan defender Djidji found himself in nosebleed territory as the ball fell his way in the box but, displaying the confidence and technique of a seasoned No.10, he executed a sublime lob over Ivan Provedel on the turn that caught the Spezia goalkeeper, and everyone at the Picco, off guard.
But Verde levelled in the second half with a nice finish of his own. Although it was far from what he produced against Lazio last time out, the ex-Roma forward fired in at Alex Cordaz’s near post to score in back-to-back Serie A matches for the first time in his career and to claim his fifth of the season.
Simy’s recent form meant that he was always likely to get a chance, and he looked to have wrapped up the win for Crotone when he tapped into an open goal in the 78th minute. The strike was his 16th of the season, leaving him behind only Yakubu as the Nigerian with the most goals in a single top-five European league season this century.
16 – Only Yakubu with Blackburn Rovers in 2011/12 (17 goals) has scored more goals than #Simy in Serie A this season (16) among Nigerian players in a single top-5 European League campaign in 2000s. Eagle.#SpeziaCrotone pic.twitter.com/e8zQSqpHlF
Maggiore, though, finished calmly when through on Cordaz’s goal in the last minute of the 90 and, just as the spoils were set to be shared, Erlic headed in a close-range rebound as a looping effort came back off the crossbar.
Crotone stay rooted to the bottom of the Serie A table with just 15 points. Spezia, meanwhile, now have 32 points and find themselves ten clear of 18th-placed Cagliari.