Hellas Verona vs Udinese, final score 2-2: Udinese rescue a point

Dino Panato

Hellas Verona threw away a two goal lead, allowing Udinese to salvage a 2-2 draw at the Stadio Bentegodi.

Hellas Verona's slim European dreams are in tatters. A Luca Toni penalty and Emil Hallfredsson strike had put the Gialloblu firmly in the driving seat, before Antonio Di Natale and Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu ensured Udinese left with a share of the spoils. Verona needed six points to stay in the hunt for the Europa League, but Andrea Mandorlini will still see this as being a successful season after seeing his side come up from Serie B.

Verona were without suspended pair Michelangelo Albertazzi and Juan Manuel Iturbe, while the visitors made the trip without injured trio Dusan Basta, Maicousel and Luis Muriel.

Alessandro Agostini got a crucial block to stop Nico Lopez on the counter, then won a penalty for his side on 13 minutes after his mazy run was abruptly ended by a trip from Allan. Toni stepped up to send Simone Scuffet the wrong way.

Udinese tried to respond, but Rafael was barely troubled by long range efforts from Di Natale and Giampiero Pinzi. Di Natale's bad luck continued when he slipped just as he was about to pull the trigger from the edge of the box.

Hellas were denied a second eight minutes before the break. Hallfredsson picked out Toni, who rolled the ball past the onrushing Scuffet, only to see Danilo clear his effort off the line. Verona kept the move going and Ivan Pillud sent a shot wide.

Rafael comfortably caught Di Natale's inswinging free kick, then got down low to save from Andrea Lazzari. On the stroke of half time, Maurizio Domizzi blasted high and wide.

Fabrizio Cacciatore replaced the injured Pillud during the break. A Di Natale corner bounced off the Verona defence and ricocheted back across the face of goal after catching the knee of an unwiting Thomas Heurtaux.

Hallfredsson doubled Verona's advantage nine minutes into the second half. Juanito Gomez Taleb chipped the ball to the back post and Hallfredsson's volley was parried into the net by Scuffet.

The two goal cushion didn't last long. Di Natale reduced the arrears just two minutes later. The veteran collected Roberto Pereyra's pass, quickly turning his marker on the penalty spot before volleying the ball over Rafael for his 14th of the season.

Cacciatore saw a header cleared off the line by Allan. The defender then cleared the danger after Heurtaux played a one two with Lazzari and forced Rafael to palm a low shot out of the bottom corner.

Verona's defenders were living dangerously. Vangelis Moras turned Lopez's low cross inches over his own crossbar, before Di Natale peeled off his marker to send a free header wide.

Udinese finally made their pressure count a minute into stoppage time. Verona failed to clear and Lazzari teed the ball up for Badu to send a low shot into the bottom corner. It was no more than Udinese deserved.

Hellas Verona: Rafael; Pillud, (Cacciatore 46) Moras, Marques, Agostini; Sala, Cirigliano, Hallfredsson; (Maietta 81) Gomez Taleb, (Donadel 69) Toni, Marquinho

Goals: Toni pen 14, Hallfredsson 54

Udinese: Scuffet; Heurtaux, (Widmer 76) Danilo, Domizzi, Gabriel Silva; Pinzi, Allan, (Badu 87) Lazzari; Pereyra, Di Natale, Nico Lopez (Yebda 75)

Goals: Di Natale 56, Badu 90 +1

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