Padova, Novara all square

Novara held Padova to a goalless draw in the first leg final of the Serie B promotion play-offs.

Playing in front of 16,000 home fans at the Euganeo stadium, Padova dominated the encounter and was unlucky not to take a 2-0 lead in the tie.

Padova midfielder Matias Cuffa was denied by the woodwork in the fourth minute before team-mate Marcos de Paula struck the far post with 12 minutes to go.

Novara went into the encounter looking to break Padova's 14-match unbeaten run but without the services of injured captain Carlo Ludi as well as suspended pair Christian Bertani and Michel Morganelli, it failed to test Padova goalkeeper Andrea Cano.

Novara, which last northern summer returned to Italy's second tier after a 33-year wait, will host Padova in Sunday's crucial return leg with a place in Serie A up for grabs.