Benevento set for first ever Serie A season after winning promotion playoff

Benevento joined SPAL in ensuring there will be two new clubs in Serie A next season after they beat Carpi in a playoff on Thursday night.

SPAL, who are based in the city of Ferrara and were only re-formed in 2013, earned direct promotion to Serie A just a year after being promoted to Serie B.

Benevento followed their example by also celebrating back-to-back promotions after a goal by on-loan Inter Milan forward George Puscas earned them a 1-0 win at home to Carpi, completing a 1-0 aggregate victory for a club who had never been as high as Italy's second tier before last season.

"Congratulations to all of these lads -- they showed no fear of being who we are," coach Marco Baroni told Sky Sport. "They all deserve this promotion. We played a great playoff and were supreme.

"It's been an extraordinary year. It's an infinite joy."

The Campania club will now face Napoli in a local derby, with Napoli president among the first to congratulate them on their promotion with a tweet from his home in Los Angeles, saying: "Compliments to Benevento, who are arriving in Serie A and gifting us two beautiful derbies. Well done!"

That is a derby Benevento will be keen to play more than just twice, with their president Oreste Vigorito saying they are in Serie A to stay.

"My players may not be [Gonzalo] Higuain or [Paulo] Dybala, but they have a heart as big as theirs, if not bigger," he said. "We're not going into Serie A just to turn around again, we would prefer to stay in paradise."

Benevento finished fifth in Serie B this season, nine points behind Frosinone, who only missed out on automatic promotion due to their inferior head-to-head record with Hellas Verona. They beat Perugia in the semifinal before defeating Carpi, who had finished three points behind them in seventh.