Sampdoria draws 1-1 with Torino in Serie A
MILAN - Sampdoria failed to maintain its perfect start to the Serie A season as it drew 1-1 against fellow promoted side Torino on Sunday.
Samp had won its first three games — including a memorable victory at AC Milan — but seemed to be heading for defeat after Rolando Bianchi's second-half penalty.
However, Nicola Pozzi struck home a second spot kick of the match six minutes from time to rescue a point for the hosts.
Sampdoria had enjoyed the better of the few occasions under heavy rain in Genoa and even had the ball in the back of the net in the first half, but Maxi Lopez's strike was rightly ruled out for offside.
Enzo Maresca had also struck the crossbar in the build-up to that incident.
The first real chance of the match came in the 37th minute after Riccardo Meggiorini had committed a needless foul on Marcelo Estigarribia on the edge of the area, barging the Sampdoria midfielder over despite the Torino defence being well placed.
Maresca struck the resulting free kick off the crossbar. From the rebound, the ball fell to Lopez, who turned it in but he was offside.
Moments later Estigarribia raced clear of two defenders, and brought down Nenad Krsticic's long ball well, but couldn't get a clean shot away and Torino goalkeeper Jean-Francois Gillet was able to save comfortably.
Samp had another chance on the stroke of halftime when Daniele Gastaldello seemed certain to score from Maresca's cross but Gillet pulled off the stop.
Torino went close to taking the lead eight minutes after the restart. Alessio Cerci put in a delightful through ball to Matteo Darmian and his cross would have been inadvertently turned in by a Sampdoria defender had it not been for a brilliant save by goalkeeper Sergio Romero.
The deadlock was broken in the 69th minute after Roberto Soriano brought down Cerci in the area. Bianchi fired in the resulting penalty for his fourth goal of the season.
Samp levelled with its own spot kick when Kamil Glik fouled Eder, who had just come on for the home side and had put himself in a great position in front of goal with his first touch of the game.
Gillet got a hand to Pozzi's penalty but could not prevent it from going into the bottom left corner.
It would have been worse for Torino but for a brilliant save by Gillet to deny Eder in stoppage time.