September 19, 2022
Seeking to end a two-match losing streak, Venezia struck first but were forced to settle for a point in a 1-1 draw against 10-man Pisa at Stadio Penzo in Giornata 6 of the 2022/23 Serie B season.
Venezia manager Ivan Javorčić would start with a three-man backline for the first time this season on Saturday afternoon, opting for a 3-5-2 formation after starting with a 4-3-3 and later switching to a 3-4-3 and a 3-4-1-2 in the second half of each of the previous two matches.
The team were boosted by the return of Gianluca Busio from injury, but were faced with several new absentees — most notably ‘keeper Jesse Joronen, midfielders Domen Črnigoj and Michaël Cuisance, and forward Aaron Connolly through injury plus midfielder Tanner Tessmann through suspension. In response, striker Andrija Novakovich was recalled to play up front with Joel Pohjanpalo, midfielder Magnus Kofod Andersen was handed his first start for the club, and ’keeper Niki Mäenpää was making his season debut, while captain Marco Modolo lined up in the center of defense along with Pietro Ceccaroni and Przemysław Wiśniewski.
In the 8th minute, right wingback Antonio Candela received a cross-field switch, beat his marker to the byline, and centered the ball for an arriving Luca Fiordilino, who took it first time and smacked the near post.
After that early chance, Venezia would struggle to penetrate the final third — out of 247 accurate first-half passes, 170 of them were in their own end — until a breakthrough came from a brilliant individual effort.
In the 40th minute, Pohjanpalo played the ball into Novakovich, who received it on the left side with his back to goal. In one swift move, the American striker turned his marker to the outside, cut back to the inside, and ripped a shot into the top corner inside the far post.
It marked the first time that Venezia had scored the opening goal in a match this season. But their lead wouldn’t last long.
In the 44th minute, Pisa defender Arturo Calabresi played a hopeful long ball down the heart of the pitch, going just over Ceccaroni’s head with striker Ettore Gliozzi chasing it. On the bounce, Gliozzi headed the ball down to get around Ceccaroni and into space, fended off the subsequent challenge, and finished inside the far post.
In the second half, Venezia made better inroads into Pisa’s end, but were most threatening through dead ball situations, as defenders Ceccaroni, Modolo, and Wiśniewski all went close with headers from corner kicks.
Venezia’s best chance from open play came in the 62nd minute, when Andersen slipped the ball through on the right side for Pohjanpalo, who arrived to fire a heavy shot on goal from the angle, but was denied by the ‘keeper.
In the 71st minute, Venezia gained an advantage when Pisa midfielder Artur Ioniță chopped down Busio and was sent off, and the visitors would go into a shell to protect the result.
Ten minutes later, Javorčić shifted to a more aggressive 4-4-2 / 4-2-4, bringing on Dennis Johnsen and Denis Cheryshev to play on the wings with Novakovich and Pohjanpalo still in attack, but despite a few dangerous balls, they could not find a winner.
Now winless since Jack de Vries forced a stoppage-time own goal for a come-from-behind win at Südtirol in Giornata 2, Venezia go into the international break with five points from the first six rounds, and will return to action at Cagliari on 1 October in Giornata 7.
Venezia 1-1 Pisa
Scorers: 40’ Novakovich, 44’ Gliozzi
Venezia (3-4-1-2): Mäenpää, Wiśniewski, Modolo (90+2’ Pierini), Ceccaroni, Candela (81’ Johnsen), Fiordilino, Busio, Andersen (65’ Haps), Ullman (81’ Cheryshev), Pohjanpalo, Novakovich
Subs not used:
Manager: Ivan Javorčić
Pisa (4-3-1-2): Nícolas, Calabresi, Canestrelli, Farba, Beruatto, Nagy, Marin (78’ Mastinu), Ioniță, Tramoni (86’ Touré), Sibilli (78’ Piccinini), Gliozzi (86’ Cissé)
Subs not used: Hermannsson, Jureškin, Dekić, Esteves, Livieri, Masucci, Rus, Moruţan
Manager: Rolando Maran