Antonio Di Natale struck an 89th-minute equaliser to hand 10-man Udinese an unlikely share of the points in a dramatic 1-1 draw at home to Palermo on Saturday in Italy’s Serie A.
Palermo held a 1-0 half-time lead at the Stadio Friuli after Josip Ilicic’s superb 33rd minute strike, which impressive ‘keeper Zeljko Brkic simply could not stop hitting the back of the net.
Although Udinese were creating chances, the Sicilians continued to dominate in the second half and were given a helping hand when Thomas Heurteaux was shown a red card for a rash challenge on the hour mark.
Palermo came close to making their advantage count on several occasions but saw Eros Pisano, Egidio Rios and Franco Brienza all denied by an alert Brkic when they were in great scoring positions.
Brkic’s heroics would make the difference in the end for Udinese, who transformed an unlikely goal scoring chance into the equaliser at the death.
Samir Ujkani had had little to do in the second half but after blocking an innocuous header from Luis Muriel on the edge of the box the Palermo ‘keeper dropped the ball in front of goal after being impeded by one of his own defenders.
It fell into the path of Di Natale, who took one touch before smashing it home for the equaliser.
Palermo’s sixth draw of the season meant a missed chance to move further away from the relegation zone, while Udinese’s eighth draw kept them eighth ahead of the rest of the weekend fixtures.
In the day’s late game Miroslav Klose struck a superb late winner for Lazio as the Biancocelesti beat Inter Milan 1-0 at the Olympic Stadium to indirectly boost Juventus’s hopes of extending their lead before Christmas.
Inter started their 17th match of the campaign only four points behind champions Juve at the top of the table, however Andrea Stramaccioni’s men were dominated throughout before missing several chances late on.
Stramaccioni’s anger showed as he walked off the pitch following a fifth defeat of the campaign which means Juventus can now extend their lead over the Nerazzurri to seven points if they beat Atalanta in Turin on Sunday.