Coppola stars with late cameo as Verona earn vital win against relegation rivals Udinese

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Coppola stars with late cameo as Verona earn vital win against relegation rivals Udinese

Fabien Centonze, left, of Hellas Verona makes a pass whilst under pressure from Hassane Kamara
Fabien Centonze, left, of Hellas Verona makes a pass whilst under pressure from Hassane KamaraAFP
Hellas Verona struck a last-gasp winner against Udinese to end a run of four winless games in Serie A in a battle between two sides fighting desperately against relegation.

With a chance to move four points clear of relegation at stake, the opening exchanges were frantic in the centre of the field yet timid in attack as both sides were clearly lacking confidence in the final third.

The first clear chance came for the visitors when a low corner somehow evaded everyone and landed at the feet of Lorenzo Lucca, but he directed his effort straight at Lorenzo Montipo who was able to keep it out.

Verona were anonymous as an attacking force for the entire first half, but they almost struck moments before the break when Tijjani Noslin was left unmarked in the box but his powerful header cracked the post and bounced wide.

The visitors came out looking for a quick goal after the break when Lazar Samardzic laid it off for Lucca with a classy backheel in the box, but the giant striker went for power and lashed it high and wide from a central position. It looked like they had found the net when a quick free-kick saw Roberto Pereyra round Montipò before rolling the ball into the back of the net, but replays showed he was offside.

Match stats
Match statsFlashscore

The home side started to exert pressure of their own with a flurry of corners, and they had a great chance when the ball fell to Juan Cabal in the box, but similar to Lucca’s miss in the first half, he drove the ball directly at the feet of the goalkeeper. Verona, clearly desperate for a vital win at home, continued to push and struck in the dying moments when Ondrej Duda's perfect out-swinging corner found Diego Coppola, who headed home to spark jubilant scenes in the stands.

The three points could be decisive at the end of the season as Verona now move up to 15th but more importantly, have a four-point cushion over the relegation spots while Udinese sit precariously in 17th, just one point above the drop zone.

Flashscore Man of the Match: Diego Coppola (Hellas Verona)

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