Teenage midfielder Busio equalizes late for Venezia

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CAGLIARI, Sardinia (AP) – Teenage midfielder Gianluca Busio’s first Serie A goal earned the promoted Venezia a 1-1 draw in Cagliari on Friday.

Busio, one of the three Americans in Venezia, saw his shot from the center of the box deflected by defender Martin Caceres two minutes after added time.

“Getting my first goal to tie the game is crazy,” Busio said.

Busio, 19, was born to an Italian father and an American mother in North Carolina. He joined Venezia in August from Sporting Kansas City in a deal that could be worth $ 10 million if the bonuses are met.

“We followed him for a year,” Venezia coach Paolo Zanetti said of Busio. “There were other clubs following him as well, but because of our president’s relationship with the American League, we were able to bring him here.

“He came very willingly and really embraced our plans. He is a talented and complete player who covers the pitch and plays every game very intensely.

When asked who Busio reminds him of, Zanetti said he was a combination of former Italians Andrea Pirlo and Gennaro Gattuso.

“He’s talented but he can also tackle, cover the pitch, and he likes to play a little more forward,” Zanetti said. “I don’t think he’s discovered his full identity yet. He provides quality as a playmaker but he’s a bit messed up like that. I think if he goes a few yards ahead he can also score goals and that’s what we’ve seen tonight.

Keita Baldé gave Cagliari a header early on to become Senegal’s top scorer in Italian league history with his 40th, overtaking Khouma Babacar (39 goals), who now plays in Turkey.

Răzvan Marin also touched the post for Cagliari.

Venezia moved one place above the drop zone, while winless Cagliari, who has already changed coaches this season (Walter Mazzarri for Leonardo Semplici), remained one place above Salernitana, last place.

Busio is due to appear at the United States squad for their next three World Cup qualifiers on Sunday.

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