Nwankwo scores as Crotone bows to Amrabat’s Fiorentina

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The Nigeria international’s goal in the second half failed to save the Pythagoreans from losing their thirteenth game of the season in Serie A

Simeon Nwankwo hit the mark as Crotone continued his stuttering start to the 2020-21 Serie A campaign following Saturday’s 2-1 loss to Fiorentina.

After defeating Benevento 4-1 in their last outing with the Nigerian international among the scorers, the Pythagoreans went to the Stadio Artemio Franchi with the ambition of achieving two victories on a rebound against Cesare Prandelli’s team that was humiliated 6-0 by the Napoli.

However, they were tied up by the Violets who got all their goals in the first 45 minutes.

Both teams made a great display in the first minutes of the match, however, it was the hosts who took the initiative at 20 minutes through Giacomo Bonaventura.

Taking advantage of a poor clearance from Arkadiusz Reca, the Italian midfielder picked up the ball and shot with his right from the edge of the area that beat goalkeeper Alex Cordaz.

In the 32nd minute, the hosts doubled their lead thanks to Dusan Vlahovic, who scored from close range after receiving a pass from France’s Franck Ribéry.

Crotone stepped up his game in the second half, but it was Prandelli’s men who continued to create scoring chances. Gaetano Castrovilli assisted Vlahovic twice, but the Serbian was unable to bury the ball into the net.

In the 65th minute, Nwankwo cut his club’s deficit after positioning himself well to head a Pedro Pereira cross that beat goalkeeper Bartlomiej Dragowski. That was Super Eagle’s seventh-level goal in 19 appearances so far.

Fiorentina, in danger of drawing a tie, made a double substitution in the 69th minute to strengthen their team, launching Christian Kouame and Martínez Quarta for Igor and Vlahoic respectively.

Despite trying harder to achieve the late draw, Giovanni Stroppa’s team failed to deliver the much-needed goal when they returned home with their heads down.

Along with Ivory Coast defender Koffi Djidji, on loan from Torino, the Nigerian was in action from start to finish for Crotone, while Ahmad Benali of Libya replaced Milos Vulic on the hour.

For the hosts, Sofyan Amrabat saw every minute of action as they climbed to 12th place on the record after scoring 21 points from 19 starts. They are guests of Turin on Friday.

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