A controversial goal from Swiss striker Innocent Emeghara has handed Siena a crucial 3-2 victory over fellow Serie A strugglers Pescara.
After Eugenio Romulo Togni had brought Pescara level at 2-2 with a direct free-kick just before the half-hour mark, Pescara looked on track to end their losing streak in Italy’s top tier at seven games.
But in the 86th minute, Emeghara slotted the ball home from close range following Salvador Agra’s cross, although the latter had looked offside when played in behind Pescara’s defence.
Saturday’s clash saw last-placed Pescara host Siena, who sat just outside the relegation zone on goal difference, in a battle for Serie A survival.
The visitors from Tuscany dominated the first half to lead 2-0 at half-time thanks to a thumping back-post strike from Angelo and Damiano Zanon’s own goal.
But in the opening 15 minutes of the second half, Pescara recovered, scoring twice and wrenching momentum off Siena; and the hosts suddenly looked to have a chance of a crucial victory.
Pescara’s first goal came in the 52nd minute after Siena goalkeeper Gianluca Pegolo saved at Ferdinando Sforzini’s feet only for Swedish substitute Mervan Celik to collect the rebound and strike the ball into the top corner from the edge of the area.
Just seven minutes later and Togni equalised for the hosts, curling his free-kick over the wall and into the top corner of the net with the ball glancing in off the underside of the bar.
In a tense final half hour of the match, Siena claimed all three points when Agra was released down the right and then cut the ball back to Emeghara, who slotted his shot under Pescara goalkeeper Ivan Pelizzoli for his eighth goal of the season.
The win takes Siena three points clear of the drop zone, although they remain in 17th, while Pescara have lost 12 of their past 13 games to sit bottom of Serie A, six points behind Genoa, who are second last.
In Saturday’s other Serie A match, fourth-placed Fiorentina defeated Atalanta 2-0 to move four points clear of fifth-placed Lazio.