CAGLIARI, Sardinia (WNN) — Teenage midfielder Gianluca Busio’s first Serie A goal boosted Venezia to a 1-1 draw at Cagliari on Friday.
One in three Americans in Busio, Venezia, saw his shot being deflected from the center of the field by defender Martin Casares in a two-minute stoppage time.
“To get your first goal to tie the game is crazy,” said Basio.
Basio, 19, was born in North Carolina to an Italian father and an American mother. He joined Venezia from Sporting Kansas City in August in a deal that could reportedly be worth $10 million if he gets the bonus.
“We followed him for a year,” Venezia coach Paolo Zanetti said of Busio. “There were other clubs behind him, but because of our president’s relationship with the American League, we were able to get him here.
“He came very willingly and really adopted our plans. He is a talented, complete player who covers the field and plays every match very intensely.”
Asked to whom Basio reminds him, Zanetti said that he is a combination of former Italian greats Andrea Pirlo and Gennaro Gattuso.
“He has the skill but he can also tackle, cover the ground, and he likes to play a little bit further,” Zanetti said. “I don’t think he’s discovered his full identity yet. He delivers quality as a playwright but he’s a bit vain that way. I think if he moves a few meters he might as well score a goal.” And that’s what we saw tonight.
Keita Balde overtook his 40th – Khauma Babakar (39 goals) to become the top Senegalese scorer in Italian league history with a header to lead Cagliari, who now plays in Turkey.
Rizwan Marin also hit a four for Cagliari.
Venezia moved up one place from the drop zone, while Vinless Cagliari, who has already changed coaches this season (Walter Mazzarri for Leonardo Semplici), moved up one place from last-placed Salernitana.
Busio is due to report on Sunday to the United States squad for their next three World Cup qualifiers.
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