Italian Serie A report: Verona held by Atalanta
Last Updated: 31/08/14 8:23pm
Hellas Verona were held to a goalless draw at Atalanta in their Serie A opener on Sunday afternoon.
The visitors had the better chances throughout the encounter in Bergamo but could not find the finishing touch as they settled for a point in their first game of the campaign.
Hellas coach Andrea Mandorlini opted to play with Bosko Jankovic in support of veteran striker Luca Toni, whose 20 goals proved crucial in helping the Verona outfit finish 10th in Serie A last season.
Jankovic was first to test Marco Sportiello in the seventh minute when he drilled in a right-footed shot from 30 yards which the Atalanta keeper saved.
Hellas should have broken the deadlock midway through the first half.
Toni found Jankovic in the heart of the area and the Serbian's right-footed attempt was kept out by Sportiello.
Sportiello was called on to make another save seconds later in order to keep out Toni's 15-yard effort towards the far post.
The home fans had to wait until the 33rd minute to see Atalanta's first chance of the game, with Marcelo Estigarribia's bullet strike from 30 yards forcing Hellas goalkeeper Rafael to fully stretch to clear.
Atalanta could have gone in front early in the second half had Maximiliano Moralez's powerful effort not gone just over the bar.
Hellas pressed forward more aggressively after that scare and had their best chance on the hour mark only for Toni's powerful header from Emil Hallfredsson's cross to sail beyond the far post.
Atalanta defended deeply as they were happy to settle for a point in the closing stages of the game.