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Juve held as football resumes in Italy

10 February 2007 20:14

ROME (AFP) - Juventus threw away a two-goal lead in a Serie B 2-2 draw at Vicenza as football resumed in Italy after the suspension imposed in the wake of last week´s crowd violence in Sicily.

Policeman Filippo Raciti was killed after fans went on the rampage at last week´s Sicilian derby between Catania and Palermo.

Juve´s match at Vicenza was one of just five second division matches open to the public for which ticket sales to away fans were very strictly limited.

About 100 ticketless Juventus hard-core fans, or ´ultras,´ turned up in Vicenza´s Romeo Menti stadium, but they were denied entry and were closely monitored by police.

Tickets for all matches were named and the holders had to prove their identity before they could enter the stadium.

In another measure to clampdown on hooliganism, fans were heavily frisked by police to ensure no flares, fireworks or offensive banners were brought in.

The five matches where spectators were allowed in all passed off peacefully with no reports of trouble.

Six games were played behind closed doors as the stadium security of the home clubs did not meet legal requirements in a government crackdown on crowd control.

Rafaelle Palladino gave Juve a sixth-minute lead before Alessandro Del Piero´s cool finish doubled the visitors´ advantage on the hour.

Vicenza appeared be finished until Evangelos Nastos´ diagonal shot from the edge of the box found the top corner in the 73rd minute.

And Gabriele Paonessa´s close-range header levelled the score five minutes later and Vicenza salvaged a precious point in their battle to avoid the drop.

Napoli´s 1-0 home win over Piacenza, which was played behind closed doors, saw them join Juventus at the top of the table on 40 points.

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