There was a time
Not too far away, in which the third place in the regular season brought with it a load of anger, but followed punctually, after a couple of weeks, by great joy in repairing. Only a few years ago, only the anger remained. From 2005 (the year of their introduction) until 2011, the B-series playoffs had always awarded the third place, six times in a row (they weren’t played in 2007). And so the series A, coming out of the door, was always back from the window for the first disappointed in the championship. In 2012 Sampdoria was the first to “rebel” against this consolidated trend, winning the promotion even from the sixth, the pace of Sassuolo, the first team to pay duty to the new format. The following year he returned to normal with the triumph of Livorno, but it was the song of the swan. Because since then the classified thirds have not hit one anymore. Ko il Latina in 2014, Vicenza in 2015 and Trapani in 2016, respectively mocked by Cesena, Bologna and Pescara, all fourth on day 42. But this year has gone further. Because Frosinone not only finished the championship with the same points as Verona, finishing third only for goal difference in the direct clashes (and then completing his sports suicide at Matusa against a Carpi in double numerical inferiority in the semifinals), but it also went at a centimetre from pulling a nice line on the playoffs, detaching the fourth of the 10 points needed to cancel the extensions. And in the end, to celebrate at the finish line on 8 June it was the team that prevented him, thanks to a goal in the 93rd minute in the direct clash of the penultimate day.
This team is the Benevento, protagonist of one of the most memorable and daring enterprises in the history of the B series. Suffice it to say that, if double jumps from the third to the first series have been recorded several times in the past, it had never happened that to realize such an exploit was an absolute freshman in this league. Yes, because the Samnites (unlike another newly-promoted like Spal, for example) presented themselves for the first time at the starting line of the cadet tournament. And in fact, according to the rules in force until 13 years ago, the double trailing forward for them would have remained a mirage. But with the playoffs everything is possible. Even if you get there by fifth force and, compared to the third, you’ve made 9 points less (8 on the field).
In short, the epilogue
Was undoubtedly unexpected, but it must also be said that the “Strega” was a star of the championship, right from the start. It was the only team besides Verona that never abandoned, even for a moment, the first 8 positions of the ranking. And it was also the only one to beat at least once all three regular-season fronts (Spal, Verona and Frosinone). The Emilians became acquainted with the law of Vigorito already on the first day and when the third favourite in Hellas ended up in Benevento, someone favoured the antennae: in the Sannio they were serious. Not even the penalty point imposed by the Federal Court for a delay in the payment of taxes and contributions relating to the previous season has cooled the enthusiasm, skyrocketed with the 4-0 trimmed home to Bari on 24 September. The first defeat came only on October 9, in Salerno, but even more painful was the resounding comeback suffered in Chiavari the following week (from 2-0 to 2-3). And when on the 25th of the same month a goal by Citro sent them also to Trapani, on the field of the last of the class, for the Giallorossi it seemed like time to re-enter the ranks. Instead, the eighth-place occupied on the 11th day would have remained the lowest point of the season for Baroni and his team. Three measuring successes on Spezia, Ternana and Cittadella, another roaring 4-0 (at Brescia) and the Benevento is back up against the first. The 1-1 in the derby with the Avellino al Partenio also gave a taste of second place in December, before the dream of a Christmas in the direct promotion zone disappeared in Frosinone, in the direct clash (3-2) from a goal by Dionisi to 95 ‘. How does that adage read? Yes, revenge is a dish that is eaten cold …
However, the Benevento remained there
Despite the Ferrara knockout and the missed blow by a whisker in Verona after giving the show for long stretches of the match (2-2 with Romulo’s penalty at the end). At least until the Vigorito has remained an ATM for the Giallorossi, capable of winning 33 of the first 39 points available at home, with 10 wins and 3 draws. And when in Vercelli Ceravolo gave a new connection to Verona in second place (18 February) the dimension of the Samnites seemed now that: to fight to the end for the promotion. Instead, a pyrotechnic 3-4 cashed by Bari (the first internal defeat of the championship) precipitated the Benevento in a black hole: two points in six games from the end of February to the end of March for an unrecoverable -10 from the second place after another unexpected backhand inside with Trapani. There were 10 days to the end, now we had to prepare for the playoffs. Except that, as the denouement approached, the post-season dispute itself seemed increasingly at risk. The performance of the Campanians is discontinuous, with brilliant statements (3-1 in La Spezia) and heavy showers (1-4 in Cesena), to slip to sixth place. Which, in itself, would not have been so serious, except that Perugia and Cittadella, that is to say, the teams that had passed by, did not appear to be able to maintain their disadvantage from the third below the necessary 10 points to guarantee the playoffs to themselves and to others. And here we are then at the redde rationem. Saturday 13 May at the Vigorito comes Frosinone and Benevento need a victory. Or rather, everyone needs a Benevento victory. Craniata of Puscas (1-0), Craniata of Dionisi (1-1), the Frosinone tries to win it but it breaks on Cragno, the Benevento tries to win it but it breaks on the woods (two sleepers). Until, in the 93rd minute, Viola hits another post, collects the rebound and crosses, a rebound between Eramo and Bardi sets the ball on Ceravolo’s head, which is an empty net explodes … half of Italy. Celebrate the Special, promoted despite the ko of Terni, celebrates Verona, which is found to a point from the series A, and also celebrate Perugia, Cittadella, Carpi and Spezia. that with an empty door it blows up … half of Italy. Celebrate the Special, promoted despite the ko of Terni, celebrates Verona, which is found to a point from the series A, and also celebrate Perugia, Cittadella, Carpi and Spezia. that with an empty door it blows up … half of Italy. Celebrate the Special, promoted despite the ko of Terni, celebrates Verona, which is found to a point from the series A, and also celebrate Perugia, Cittadella, Carpi and Spezia.
An easy 3-0 in Pisa
certifies the fifth final place for Benevento, which also outperforms Spezia’s obstacle in the preliminary round of the playoffs: in a minute Ceravolo misses a penalty and leads the Giallorossi into the lead, Puscas immediately doubles, to Ligurian is not enough Nene. It’s up to Perugia, fourth in the league and therefore benefited in the event of a tie. But Chibsah robs Gnahoré and decides the first-leg match at Vigorito and Puscas marks the goal of tranquillity at Curi in the final. Nicastro’s answer was late: it is final. Where the opponent, surprisingly, is not the Frosinone but the Carpi, even seventh in the regular season but deadly away from the playoffs. To the point that the 0-0 without emotions of Cabassi, which gives Benevento two out of three results on the way back, does not reassure anyone. June 8, though, the Vigorito is a Santabarbara, which explodes in the 32nd minute when Puscas capitalizes on Venuti’s great inspiration. The rest is a very slow tick of the hands until the triple whistle that puts the stamp on the company. A “contemporary” club in the A-series, since it was founded in 1929, the year of the reform that established the categories in Italian football, the Benevento lands there for the first time 88 years later and is the fourth club in Campania in the history of the top league after Naples, Avellino and Salernitana.
Brother of Ciro, CEO who died in 2010 and to whom the stadium is named, took over the club in 2006 in C2 and took over the reins last year, after the main sponsor season. It is the courageous choice to renounce the technical of the historic promotion in B, Auteri, to entrust the bench to Marco Baroni (ex Pescara and Novara). For the goal, Diesse Di betting on the Under 21 team Cragno, on loan from Cagliari, who left the boxing gloves to the second Gori in 9 games between the national side and a knee injury, but in the 38 he played one of the strengths of the team. In defence, Lucioni, second absolute player of the championship for the number of playoff presences including (46, against the 47 of Lasagna del Carpi) but the first for games played by a starter (all, except the internal match, lost 4-3 with Bari, missed by disqualification). And with 3 goals he was also the best scorer of a department that added to them only the single centres of Lopez and Pezzi. At Lucioni’s side, it was a relay between Padella, his partner the year before in LegaPro, and Camporese, who took over at the beginning of December due to an injury of the then owner and confirmed from then on. The 4-man defence was a constant, with very few exceptions throughout the season, a defence in which Venuti and Walter Lopez mainly acted on the outside. And if on the left the Uruguayan alternated with Pezzi, Venuti also found space in other roles,
In midfield, the only constant was Raman Chibsah. The Ghanaian totaled 41 appearances in the season (40 from the start), resulting in the third most employed player on the team (3436 ‘, behind only the 4140s of Lucioni and 3463 of Ceravolo) and also scoring 6 goals: not bad for what Early career had been labelled almost exclusively as a median break. All the other interpreters of the department were subjected to a fierce turn if you think that the most used from the 1st, Buzzegoli, played as a starter just 20 of the 47 total matches. The latter was entrusted with the control room especially in the first part of the season, that is, until in January, from the Novara, Nicolas Viola arrived to raise the technical rate of the department. Del Pinto, Eramo and De Falco the other protagonists, on the pitch more than anything like half-wings when Baroni opted for 4-3-3, but not only. Melara, on the other hand (as well as the less used Jakimovski and Pajac), disengaged mainly on the left and occasionally on the right as high outside in the 4-2-3-1 or 4-4-2. The goals? Little stuff apart Chibsah: two for Buzzegoli and one each for Melara, Pajac and Jakimovski.
Also because of the wings Baroni often preferred players with more offensive characteristics, such as Amato Ciciretti, with his 6 goals and 12 assists (team record) in 36 appearances starting from the right, Cissé, often adapted to the left sector but equally protagonist with 30 attendance and 4 goals, and Filippo Falco, arrived on loan from Bologna and in turn decisive with 6 centres and 7 winning passes in 35 matches as trequartista or external high. Incidentally, Falco was also the most substituted player of Benevento (18 times), while Del Pinto (13 substitutes) is the one who rose most often from the bench. The only fixed point of reference, however, was the centre forward: Fabio Ceravolo, class of ’87 arrived at the zero-limit from Ternana with the business card of the 12 goals scored in the previous championship, his career record, and that record has pulverized reaching 21 in this magical season. Behind him, Puscas, the young man from the Interschool, had to settle for 6 games from the beginning (plus 11 substitutes) during the regular season, with 4 goals to his credit, and then to become the absolute protagonist of the playoffs, with 3 very heavy goals in 4 games that have made it an amazing man-symbol of the promotion.