Atalanta held to 1-1 draw at Verona in Serie A

Image Source : AP

Atalanta’s Duvan Zapata, 2nd right, celebrates with his teammates after scoring his side’s opening goal during the Serie A soccer match between Hellas Verona and Atalanta at the Marcantonio Bentegodi Stadium in Verona, Italy, Saturday, July 18

Atalanta’s push for second spot was hampered by a 1-1 draw at Hellas Verona in Serie A on Saturday.

Duván Zapata took advantage of a mistake to give Atalanta the lead in the 50th minute but Matteo Pessina — who is on loan from Atalanta — leveled nine minutes later.

The result left Atalanta level on 71 points with second-place Inter Milan, which visits Roma on Sunday. Italian league leader Juventus has a six-point advantage and hosts fourth-place Lazio on Monday.

AC Milan is playing Bologna later Sunday, after Sassuolo’s match at Cagliari.

Atalanta had won 11 of its last 13 league games — drawing the other two — and beat Brescia 6-2 midweek but it struggled to break Verona down.

Atalanta eventually broke the deadlock five minutes into the second half when Koray Günter lost the ball and Zapata rushed in, used his strength to hold off the Verona defender, and fired into the bottom corner.

It was Zapata’s third goal in as many matches.

But Verona was back on level terms shortly after when Atalanta goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini could only parry Amir Rrahmani’s strike and Pessina fired in the rebound.

Mario Pašalić almost won it for Atalanta in stoppage time but volleyed a cross inches wide of the left post.

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