Ghana midfielder Afriyie Acquah has been relegated to Serie B with his club side Empoli after they suffered a 2-1 defeat to Inter Milan on the last day of the season.
Internationale, featuring Acquah’s international teammate Kwadwo Asamoah, needed to win to secure Champions League football for next season while a draw would have been enough to see Empoli survive.
Half-time substitute Keita Balde fired Inter in front six minutes after the restart before Mauro Icardi won a penalty for the hosts, only to see his effort saved by Empoli goalkeeper Bartlomiej Dragowski.
There was more drama as Empoli snatched an equaliser when Hamed Junior Traore was left unmarked to tap in at the far post in the 76th minute.
Traore’s goal made the score 1-1 — a result which would have saved Empoli from relegation and caused Inter to miss out on the top four.
Instead, Nainggolan turned in the rebound after a Matias Vecino shot hit the post in the 81st minute to take Inter into fourth place with 69 points, one ahead of AC Milan who won 3-2 at SPAL.
Acquah has been linked with a move to Major League Soccer in the upcoming transfer window.