Football: Benevento make history with Serie A promotion

Benevento celebrate their winning goal

CAMPANIA—Perennial minnows of Italian football, Calabrian side Benevento Calcio, have earned promotion to the highest tier in Italy, the Serie A, after they beat Capri 1-0 in a historic win in the second league of the Serie B play-off final at the Stadio Ciro Vigorito, Thursday.

 The first leg ended in a 0-0 draw at the Stadio Sandro Cabassi, but George Puskas’ first-half strike gave the Calabrian side known as ‘The Witches’ promotion to Serie A for the first time in the club’s 88 year history.

 Romanian strike, Puskas, is currently on-loan from Inter Milan opened the scoring on 32 minutes after he converted full-back Lorenzo Venuti’s drilled cross to send the home fans into raptures, as they began to believe they were witnessing history in the making.

 The home side had opportunities to extend their lead in the second-half, but were unable to capitalise on a number of good chances. However, Benevento survived a nervy end to the game before wild celebrations at the final whistle.

 Benevento head coach, Marco Baroni, heaped praise on his players for their fine un-beaten play-off run, despite finishing fifth in Serie B.

 Baroni told Ansa, “There is incredible joy and we deserve it. It is a promotion we wanted and tried hard to achieve, the players are very comfortable in their minds and their bodies.”

 “This is a team that, above all other merits, have been supreme in that department all season,” added the head coach.

 Similarly, club president Oreste Vigorito was also brimming with pride from his team’s performance.

 “I promised promotion and said that we would try forever to achieve it. We chose a good coach and we were good at not getting carried away when we started playing the best football in Serie B,” said Vigorito.

 “We’re going to stay up, certainly not go back down. We may not have players like Higuaín and Dybala, but we have players with big hearts,” he added.

Benevento will join SPAL and Hellas Verona in promotion to the premium tier of Italian football.