Djidji sees first career red as Okereke’s Venezia hold Aina-less Torino

Koffi Djidji
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The Ivorian defender was given his marching orders as the Maroons surrendered their lead against the Winged Lions

Koffi Djidji was sent off for the first time ever in his professional career as Torino played out a 1-1 draw against Venezia in Monday’s Serie A outing.

Playing his fifth game of the 2021-22 Italian top-flight campaign, the Ivoirian was given his marching orders by referee Lorenzo Maggioni.

Djidji had already been cautioned in the 74th minute, while a foul on David Okereke three minutes later resulted in a second yellow card and subsequent dismissal, along with the referee awarding the hosts a penalty – that was converted by Mattia Aramu.

Buoyed by their unbeaten run in their last three outings, the Maroons travelled to Venice for a date with Venezia, who bowed 2-0 to AC Milan last time out.

Despite boasting little of the ball possession, the hosts looked more dangerous, and they would be disappointed not to have taken the lead at the interval.

The Winged Lions’ first real chance came in the 17th minute but Club Brugge loanee Okereke missed a gilt-edged opportunity, guiding Domen Crnigoj's cross over the bar within touching distance from goalkeeper Vanja Milinkovic-Savic.

Eight minutes later, they thought they had taken the lead when Dennis Johnsen found the net, albeit, it was chalked off for an offside.

The visitors made Venezia pay for their wastefulness by taking a 56th minute lead through Josip Brekalo who scored his first goal for the Maroons.

Left unmarked in the goal area, the Wolfsburg loanee swept Wilfried Singo’s pinpoint pass beyond goalkeeper Niki Maenpaa.

In a bid to find the leveller, manager Paolo Zanetti threw Tyronne Ebuehi and Aramu into the fray.

That paid off as they equalised from the penalty mark with 12 minutes left on the clock.

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Despite pressuring the Torino backline, Venezia could not get the elusive winner as the showdown ended all square. 

Man-of-the-match Okereke, alongside Morocco international Sofian Kiyine, was on parade from start to finish by the newly-promoted side with Ebuehi replacing David Schnegg in the 65th minute.

On the other side, Cote d’Ivoire’s Singo was handed a starter’s role but was subbed off for Mergim Vojvoda in the 72nd minute while Nigeria international Ola Aina was not listed for action.

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