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Napoli vs Bologna Report

January 16, 2012 By Gregory Sica
Uruguayan hitman Edinson Cavani rescues Napoli from defeat with a late penalty conversion against Bologna on Monday.
Napoli needed a second half spot-kick from Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani to rescue a 1-1 draw against lowly Bologna at the San Paolo stadium in the closure of the 18th round of the Italian Serie A on Monday night.

Roberto Aquafresca gave the visitors a surprise lead in the 14th minute, when he met a penetrating through ball from midfielder Nico Pulzetti with a straightforward finish.

After conceding the goal, Napoli took command against a Bologna side that seemed content to sit back and absorb heavy pressure from the Napoli attack. Goran Pandev came closest to equalising for Napoli in the first half, with a curling effort that flew inches over the crossbar.

In the second period the hosts continued to search for a goal, but they were mainly restricted to long-distance attempts on goal. Salvatore Aronica came close to scoring with a thunderbolt, but his effort was saved by an alert Jean-Francois Gillet in the Bologna goal.

It seemed that there was no way through for Napoli, until the 71st minute when they were awarded a penalty after a shot from Gokhan Inler was handled by Uruguayan midfielder Diego Perez. Perez's Uruguay team-mate Cavani stepped up to the spot and made no mistake for his eleventh goal of the season.

The goal sparked the Azzurri to life, but although they searched for a winner at all costs, it was the visitors who came closest to snatching the three points, with former Juventus striker Marco Di Vaio missing two glorious opportunities.

With the result, Napoli remain in sixth position of the Serie A, with 28 points, five points from the Champions League qualification zone. Meanwhile, Bologna climbed into 16th place with 19 points, four points clear of the relegation zone.

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