24.05.2015 15:38 h

Eto'o levels late as Samp cling to Europa hopes

A last-gasp leveller from Samuel Eto'o helped misfiring Sampdoria to a 1-1 away draw with Empoli but the Genoa-based side's hopes of Europa League qualification remain in the balance.

Sampdoria travelled to the Carlo Castellani stadium looking for the win that would have pulled them level with sixth-placed Fiorentina.

However Sinisa Mihajlovic's men spurned a series of goalscoring chances before settling for a 16th draw of the campaign which kept them in seventh place, three points behind Fiorentina ahead of their trip to Palermo.

Sampdoria remain in contention for a place in Europe's second tier competition but only because city rivals Genoa, who sit in fifth, were earlier this week denied a licence to use the Luigi Ferraris stadium for European competition.

Sampdoria share the stadium but have already lodged Sassuolo's Mapei stadium as the venue for European home games in the event they qualify for Europe.

Genoa have lodged an appeal but if it is not successful Sampdoria could benefit to snatch the third and final Europa League spot.

Samp coach Mihajlovic, however, was less than happy with a scenario which means his side must beat Parma in their final game of the season and hope results elsewhere go their way.

"We've claimed a point, now we need to win our last game and see what happens elsewhere," Mihajlovic told Sky Sport.

"Genoa are ahead of us and I take my hat off to them... but it would only be a small consolation for us if we got into the Europa League because of their misfortune."

The visitors found themselves a goal down just before the hour when Manuel Pucciarelli muscled his way through the Samp defence to beat Emiliano Viviano at the 'keeper's far post with a bouncing angled strike.

Eto'o replaced Luka Djordjevic immediately after the goal and soon had a penalty appeal when he came down in a tangle of legs with Elseid Hysaj, but the referee was not convinced.

Samp spurned three chances to level in a lively second half, home 'keeper Davide Bassi turning away a side-footed shot from Joaquin Correa on 75 minutes, leading to a counter-attack that saw Piotr Zielinski flash a shot just wide of Viviano's post.

Lorenzo De Silvestri then rose to meet a corner but his effort was straight at Bassi, and then Eto'o arrived just too late to get his toe to a cross fired across the goalmouth.

Samp looked to be heading for a costly defeat but Eto'o secured a point for the visitors when he collected on the edge of the area and turned to fire past Bassi at the keeper's far post.