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Okereke sees first career red as Venezia defeat Aina-less Torino

2:23 PM GMT+8 13/02/2022
David Okereke
The Nigerian forward was given his marching orders for the first time ever, but his team recorded an away victory over the Maroons

David Okereke was sent off for the first time ever in his professional career as Venezia secured a 2-1 away win over Torino in Saturday’s Serie A outing.

Playing his 20th game in the 2021-22 campaign, the Club Brugge loanee was shown the way out by referee Antonio Giua.

A dangerous tackle on Karol Linetty in the 95th minute saw him red-carded – thus, seeing Paolo Zanetti’s team reduced to 10 men.

Okereke was initially cautioned by Giua, however, VAR replays adjudged that the former Nigeria U23 international had launched a risky challenge on the Polish midfielder.

Failing to win any of their last seven matches in all competitions, Venezia travelled to the Stadio Olimpico Grande on a quest for redemption.

The fixture got off to a flying start for the hosts who took a fifth-minute lead through Croatia international Josip Brekalo, who was set up by Cote d’Ivoire's Wilfried Singo, leaving goalkeeper Luca Lezzerini stranded.

However, Ridgeciano Haps levelled matters for the visiting side in the 38th minute, putting the ball past goalkeeper Vanja Milinkovic-Savic thanks to a beautiful cross from Domen Crnigoj.

A minute into the second half, Venezia took the lead for the first time courtesy of Crnigoj who was assisted by Mattia Aramu.

The home team thought they had restored parity in the 90th minute when talismanic captain Andrea Belotti – who returned from a nine-match injury lay-off – found the net.

Unfortunately for them, the goal was chalked off after a four-minute VAR review, as he was adjudged to be in an offside position.

Even with the dismissal of Okereke, that could not stop Ivan Juric’s team from suffering their tenth defeat of the 2021-22 campaign.

Singo was replaced by Cristian Daniel Ansaldi in the 72nd minute, while his compatriot Koffi Djidji came off for David Zima a minute earlier. Nigeria international Ola Aina and Senegal’s Demba Seck were unused substitutes.

For Venezia, Cameroon’s Jean Pierre Nsame was introduced for Thomas Henry in the second half, whereas, Tyronne Ebuehi and Morocco’s Sofian Kiyine were left out due to contrasting reasons.

Following this away result, the Venice based outfit climbed to 17th in Serie A having garnered 21 points from 24 matches, while Torino dropped to tenth with 32 points from the same number of matches.