Cosenza-Catanzaro is also the goal challenge: the Calabrian derby featuring two of the most anticipated players


By John

Cosenza here

His first leg derby was intense, at the end of a very particular week, which began with the wedding but completed as he would never have wanted. However, you experienced the match against Catanzaro with great emotional transport. It was immediately clear to him, ever since he was overwhelmed by boos after he entered the pitch at the “Ceravolo”. For his part, he did nothing to avoid engaging in a long-distance dispute with rival fans. Indeed, to mentally prepare for the “battle”, he started from the midfield circle reaching the goal under the Capraro curve. A few mischievous smiles and a final squabble anticipated, once again, the return to the locker room.

From that moment a new phase began, he prepared for the warm-up and sought concentration. During the match, then, he tried to attack but on the development of a corner – right under that sector that he had previously “challenged” – he had to deal with the crossbar. At the end of the match, having suffered the defeat, he put his face to it. He appeared in front of the Sky Sport microphones and invited his teammates to get up immediately to forget the match.

Tomorrow, however, surrounded by people who love him madly and who now consider him a symbol, he wants to redeem himself. In Parma, on Tuesday, he had to deal with the post again, the eighth since the championship began but in 2024 he started very strong and the thing he does best is scoring goals. He scored three at Venezia, one at Pisa and Modena and two at Lecco. Now, after two matches in which he was left without a goal, he wants to break his fast to continue to look closely at the throne of the Serie B bombers. With 12 goals scored, at the moment, he occupies fourth place, behind Pohjanpalo, Casiraghi and Tail.

His best scoring performance in the cadetteria is only one goal away. Equaling it or even surpassing it tomorrow could be equivalent to touching the sky with a finger. Not a prophet in his homeland, like his Giallorossi colleague, but still with the wolf tattooed on his skin for some time. Ultimately, it is still a bond that takes him back to his childhood, when in the summer he and his family chose the Cosenza coast to spend their holidays, and to the explosion among the Pros, when he wrote his signature in large letters on Cosenza’s return to Serie B after 15 years. This explains his strong identification with colors.

With Catanzaro, then, the personal confrontation with Iemmello, the main public danger present on the other front, must be won. The Catanzaro native scored in the first leg, when Tutino had to swallow the bitter taste of defeat. The Neapolitan, however, will seek revenge by taking his teammates by the hand, in an attempt to lead them towards the playoffs, where another derby could then take place. It would be creepy. A scenario forbidden to the faint of heart. For this to happen, he still has several balls left to throw into the goal. He made a promise, he wants to think of something big. And he will do everything not to disappoint those who encourage him with the same passion with which he himself is experiencing his return to the banks of the Crati with the rossoblù shirt.

Catanzaro here

The first leg goal took away the fan’s whim: to score against Cosenza while playing for Catanzaro. The shirt with an eloquent message (“I have purged you again”, like Totti in a Roma-Lazio match) added a sparkling touch to the most heartfelt match for him too, Pietro Iemmello. Tomorrow the Giallorossi captain will try to repeat the “monster” test of three months ago. And like three months ago he is obviously one of the most anticipated and feared. Awaited by his supporters and fellow citizens, who however this time do not expect anything: in the match at the end of November he had yet to score a goal at the “Ceravolo”, now he is in his best moment and has just started to hit regularly.

He is expected simply because he is one of the leaders of the Eagles, he is a Catanzaro native who wears the colors of his favorite team and in the derby this matters more.
On Tuesday he punished Bari and reached double figures in goals, something he had only managed in Serie B in the 2018/19 season with Perugia, the one in which he was top scorer. Maybe this edition of the “Pablito” – the trophy in memory of Paolo Rossi for the prince of B’s ​​bombers – will be contested by others and he isn’t even interested: «Never more than this year have I aimed to help our young people grow more than personal statistics », he said in October. But now he is where someone like him belongs, among the other goalscorers in the category.

At the age of 32 (he will turn 32 on Wednesday), Iemmello scored six goals out of ten in this second part of the tournament, beating Lecco, Spezia, Ascoli and, with his first double of the season, Cittadella ahead of Bari. Five of these six pearls – all beautiful in preparation and execution – have come in the last four matches. Nothing else is needed to understand the conditions in which he and the team around him are traveling.
Already in the last championship, dominated from start to finish, the number 9 had put the turbo in the second round, so it’s nothing new that his performance grows progressively, like a diesel engine that needs to be launched to reach its peak of performance.

In the C of records Pietro scored 16 goals out of 28 from January onwards, in the declining phase of the season. Physical form aside, showing off your muscles on the return leg, when the points count double, means having personality to spare. Unlike a year ago, the attacker manages to be more incisive away from home, given that he scored six times away from home, while in Serie C he was a dictator, especially at “Ceravolo” (with 20 goals out of 28). Making an external impact is another indication of his overflowing personality.

Speaking of Cittadella, the Venetians are his second favorite victim (seven goals in ten matches) after Juve Stabia (nine in eleven). The third, needless to say, is Cosenza, against whom he scored six times in nine games, with Foggia (also at “San Vito”, in 2014) and Perugia before Catanzaro. It is obvious that Iemmello will be the most booed by opposing supporters. For the t-shirt shown during the first leg, because it is Catanzaro and symbol of Catanzaro. And then because his talent always inspires fear. Who knows, maybe with that talent he might even be able to score again, scoring a three-game scoring streak for the first time this season. With Pietro, never say never…