Bologna FC's hopes of a first UEFA Champions League appearance suffered as they were held 1-1 by Torino Calcio in Serie A.
Bologna occupy the fourth qualification place for Europe's premier club competition, but their main rivals, Milan AC and AC Chievo Verona, who meet in Verona on Sunday, are just two and three points behind.
Torino took the lead in the 20th minute thanks to a curling free-kick from Alessio Scarchilli. But they had goalkeeper Luca Bucci to thank for maintaining their lead with a series of good saves, including an excellent reflex stop from Giuseppe Signori two minutes before the break.
The home side's advantage lasted six minutes into the second half when Bologna's Argentinian striker Julio Cruz latched on to a high ball into the box, lost his marker, and fired past Bucci. Bucci then saved well again from Cruz, while his Bologna counterpart Gianluca Pagliuca was forced into action to deny Torino's Fabio Quagliarella.
Yet the Bologna coach, Francesco Guidolin, is confident his team will hold on to fourth spot. "We have reached a position in the league table that we never expected at the start of the season so we are going to do all we can in these last games to stay there," Guidolin said. Serie A leaders Internazionale FC host Atalanta BC on Sunday with second-placed AS Roma away to relegated AC Venezia.
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