Pinilla denies Viola victory
Last Updated: September 15, 2013 2:16pm
Marcelo Pinilla celebrates his equalising goal
Fiorentina's perfect start to the season was ended by a late Mauricio Pinilla goal, which earned Cagliari a draw at the Stadio Artemio Franchi.
Borja Valero gave the hosts the lead in the 71st minute and they seemed to be heading for a third straight win at the start of the Serie A season until substitute Pinilla headed the Sardinians level with a minute remaining.
As well as dropping two points, Fiorentina lost David Pizarro to a red card in stoppage time and both Juan Cuadrado and Mario Gomez to injuries which both required hospital treatment.
Fiorentina failed to show any reason why they had won their first two fixtures in a stale first half.
Indeed, they were fortunate not to find themselves behind at the break when Davide Astori headed over from just five yards out from a well-worked corner.
The Viola showed some signs of life early in the second half when Mario Gomez broke through, took the ball round Michael Agazzi, but scooped his shot over the crossbar, hurting his knee in the process.
The Germany international's game ended there as he was carried away from the field and away from the stadium to undergo tests in hospital with the expression on his face suggesting something serious.
Without him, it was up to Giuseppe Rossi to lead the Viola attack and a weak, placed free-kick caused Agazzi more problems than expected on the hour mark before, at the other end, Radja Nainggolan volleyed wide with Neto nowhere near the ball.
Another break saw Marco Sau race clear, but his second touch took the ball too far away from him, allowing Fiorentina goalkeeper Neto to gather.
Within a minute, Luca Rossettini turned the ball onto his own crossbar as the chances started to arrive at both ends and only two more full turns of the clock passed before the hosts took the lead.
Rossi's header from Massimo Ambrosini's cross looped up to the far post where Borja Valero had beaten the offside trap and was on hand to nod the ball in.
Cagliari's response was to send Pinilla on for Andrea Cossu, leaving Victor Ibarbo and Sau on in a three-man attack.
The gamble paid off in the 89th minute when Ibarbo's right-wing cross was met by Pinilla, who placed his header from eight yards in off the inside of the left-hand post.
Fiorentina were frustrated and when no penalty was given when Rossi went to ground inside the penalty area, Pizarro lost his head, insulting the referee and earning a red card to compound the Viola's woes as their 100% start to the season ended.
Italy Serie A