Abdelhamid Sabiri: Morocco prospect propels Sampdoria past Ekuban’s Genoa

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Abdelhamid Sabiri Sampdoria Genoa Serie A
The 25-year-old was the Blue Circled hero as Marco Giampaolo’s men saw off the Red and Blues

Abdelhamid Sabiri scored Sampdoria’s only goal as they silenced Genoa 1-0 in Saturday’s Serie A encounter.

The former Germany youth international of Moroccan descent was the Blue Circled’s hero thanks to his first-half effort against Alexander Blessin’s men.

Heading into the keenly-contested fixture staged at Luigi Ferraris Stadium, Sampdoria had settled for a 1-1 draw against Verona last time out, while Genoa defeated Cagliari 1-0 on April 24. 

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After a sluggish opening, Sabiri gave the hosts a 25th-minute lead as he prodded home a whipped cross from Tommaso Augello from close range.

The visitors could have levelled matters but Caleb Ekuban’s header went wide. 

Again, Sampdoria - who have equalled a club-record 20 defeats in this season’s campaign - could have doubled their advantage had Salvatore Sirigu not palmed away Sabiri’s header before the interval.

In the lifeless second half, Genoa laboured hard to create opportunities and were unable to find a leveller, with Emil Audero bravely stifling the danger on more than one occasion. 

However, they were handed a late lifeline when VAR awarded a penalty in the 96th minute, albeit, Domenico Criscito's tame strike from twelve yards was easily saved meaning Sampdoria completed the double over their rivals, having prevailed 3-1 winners in the reverse fixture.

After featuring for 88 minutes, Sabiri who now boasts two goals this season was subbed off for Fabio Quagliarella, while Gambia international Omar Colley was not listed for action.

On the other hand, Ghana international Ekuban was named in the starting XI but was replaced by Albert Gudmundsson four minutes before the hour mark, but Sierra Leone’s Yayah Kallon was unavailable.

Thanks to this result, Sampdoria moved to 16th on the log having accrued 33 points from 35 outings.