Fiorentina win emotional match after Astori's death

Fiorentina win emotional match after Astoris death
Fiorentina's Vitor Hugo (centre) stands in front of a jersey portraying Davide Astori as he celebrates after scoring a goal against Benevento.

Milan - Purple and white balloons were released



By AP

Published: Sun 11 Mar 2018, 9:44 PM

Last updated: Sun 11 Mar 2018, 11:46 PM

Fiorentina played its first match since the death of captain Davide Astori, beating Benevento 1-0 on an emotional on Sunday at the Stadio Artemio Franchi.
The 31-year-old Astori was found dead in his hotel room last Sunday after a suspected cardiac arrest before his team was to play an Italian league match at Udinese.
The Fiorentina players and staff all came out for the warmup wearing Astori No. 13 shirts and lined up next to a giant poster of his shirt and the words "captain forever." They also held up a banner with "Ciao Davide" before kickoff.
There were plenty more No. 13 shirts and banners in the stands, including in the visitors' section, with one huge one that read: "There are men who never die. There are stories that are passed on through eternity. Bon voyage, Captain."
Purple and white balloons were released after an impeccably observed minute's silence as part of a series of deeply moving scenes.
The players also stopped in the 13th minute of the match and there was special choreography in the stands, with the fans turning one end purple with "Davide 13" while everyone chanted Astori's name. Vitor Hugo, the player who replaced Astori in the starting lineup, scored the only goal of the match in the 25th minute, leaping high to head in Riccardo Saponara's corner. He celebrated by running to the bench with a T-shirt bearing Astori's face, giving it to a member of staff and saluting it.


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