Lecce holds Catania to earn vital point

Other News Materials 29 November 2008 23:14 (UTC +04:00)

Struggling Lecce rallied Saturday to snatch a 1-1 draw from Catania in the Serie A, dpa reported.

Forward Michele Paolucci scored his fourth goal of the season to put the Sicilians ahead in the second half before substitute Jose Castillo levelled for Lecce.

Catania went into the match with Lecce boasting six wins from their seven home games and nearly went in front on seven minutes through a Gianvito Plasmati header but goalkeeper Francesco Benussi pulled off a marvelous save.

A first chance for Lecce went begging on 13 minutes as striker Simone Tiribocchi shot wide, while Lorenzo Stovini squandered an opportunity for Catania, firing a volley over the bar after Benussi slapped away a corner kick.

Catania started the second half the stronger of the two sides and should have gone in front on 53 minutes but Paolucci's shot came back off a post.

The striker made amends on 61 minutes, firing past Benussi from a narrow angle.

The 68th-minute substitution of Uruguay's Guillermo Giacomazzi with Castillo proved crucial for Lecce as the Argentine levelled matters with a low shot one minute after coming on.

Catania could have won the game with two minutes left but Benussi saved from Paolucci.

The draw keeps Catania in a comfortable mid-table position after 14 Serie A games, while Lecce hover two points above the three-team relegation zone.

A later match in Turin pits giants Juventus against minnows Reggina. Juve are looking to bounce back after slipping six points from leaders Inter Milan, who beat them 1-0 last weekend.

Champions Inter have a difficult home game Sunday against Napoli, who lie joint-third with Juve. Second-place AC Milan later Sunday play away at Palermo hoping to reduce the three-point deficit to their cross-town rivals.