Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Coppa Italia: Round 3

Claudio Ranieri made a triumphant return to the Stadio Tardini, as Juventus knocked Parma out of the Coppa Italia in the Third Round tonight. Napoli and Catania needed penalties; Cagliari, Torino and Reggina scraped through, while Ascoli eliminated Atalanta in dramatic fashion.

Ranieri, who saved Parma from almost certain relegation last season, took the opportunity to test out the new midfield partnership of Sergio Almiron and Tiago Mendes.

The deadlock was broken on 62 minutes with Christian Molinaro scoring just 120 seconds after coming on. Molinaro took the left-wing position and thumped in another of his long-range strikes.

Parma fought back, forcing Gigi Buffon to save from Francesco Parravicini with an outstretched leg. However, Almiron curled in a free kick to double Juve’s advantage.

Moments later the referee pointed to the spot for Jonathan Zebina’s foul on Igor Budan and Castellini converted to keep the game open. It remained so until eight minutes from time, when Hasan Salihamidzic’s shot from the edge of the area took a vicious deflection to leave Pavarini stranded.

Juve go through to the last 16, where they will face Empoli.

Napoli needed penalties to continue their Coppa adventure despite playing with ten men. Edy Reja’s job is in the balance following the side's opening Serie A defeat and this disappointing performance, squeezing past Livorno 4-3 after a penalty shoot-out.

The home side were forced to play with 10 men from the 55th minute onwards, as Roberto De Zerbi foolishly earned himself a second yellow card.

Francesco Tavano scored his first goal for the Amaranto late on at the San Paolo, sidefooting past the goalkeeper into the far corner, and thought he had secured a stunning victory for the Tuscans. However, just two minutes from the final whistle Maurizio Domizzi cut in from the left to smash one of his trademark rockets to extend Napoli’s participation into extra time.

Confidence was low following heavy defeats for both sides in Serie A last weekend and neither club could find another breakthrough. It went to penalties and Napoli eventually snapped up their spot in the last 16, with a 4-3 shhot-out win. They must do much better in January against Lazio.

Ascoli left it to absolutely the last second to book their passage to the next round with a 2-1 win against Atalanta. Daniele Di Donato had given the home side the lead just before half-time, but Under-21 international Simone Padoin levelled the scores for the Orobici after the restart.

The tie went to extra time at the Stadio Del Duca and when penalties seemed to be the only remaining option, ex-Atalanta striker Andrea Soncin popped up with the winner in the final seconds. Ascoli go through to face Fiorentina in Round 4.

Catania played out a 0-0 draw at Triestina despite playing with 10 men for nearly 90 minutes of football, as Christian Terlizzi saw red just half an hour in.

Pesaresi and Da Dalt threatened to give the home side victory, although Catania saw Izco’s goal disallowed and wasted a golden opportunity with Giuseppe Mascara.

In extra time Granoche hit the bar for Triestina and the game could only be decided from the spot. The Sicilians came out on top, winning 4-2 in a shoot-out to set up their next round tie with Milan.

Torino scraped through to the final 16 of the Coppa Italia with a 3-2 extra time victory over Serie B outfit Rimini in the first game of the day. The Granata thought they had the game in their pockets at the break, having gone 2-0 up at the Stadio Olimpico in Turin.

Nicola Ventola finalised the first move on 22 minutes, which saw Alessandro Rosina and Simone Barone combine for a parried Sasa Bjelanovic header into the path of the striker. Just before half-time another fine team move with Barone and Ventola was slotted into the net by the World Cup winner.

However, Rimini came back with a vengeance in the second period and specifically in the final five minutes. Francesco Valiani’s goal was followed by an Adrian Ricchiuti strike just 120 seconds later.

The tie went to extra time, 2-2 at the final whistle, and Rosina secured Toro’s passage to the final 16 with a fierce long-range screamer. It nearly ended on penalties, though, as Sandro Porchia’s free kick rattled the crossbar – and a few Torino fans’ nerves – in the final minutes even though Rimini had 10 men for Domenico Cristiano’s second bookable offence.

Walter Novellino’s men will now go on to face Roma in the next round.

Siena lost their opening Serie A game 2-1 at home to Sampdoria on Sunday and were turfed out of the Coppa by the same scoreline at Cagliari this evening. Robert Acquafresca bagged a brace either side of half-time for the Sardinians and Massimo Maccarone only gave Siena a consolation goal in stoppages. Cagliari will play Sampdoria in the next round.

Udinese had absolutely no problems sweeping Serie B team Bari aside 3-0. Paolucci opened the scoring and closed it, while Antonio Di Natale marked his comeback by converting a penalty. The Friulani set up a date with Palermo in the next phase of the competition.

Finally, Reggina had a tough time getting past Piacenza in a chaotic 3-2 victory at the Stadio Granillo. The Granata had gone 2-0 up after just 10 minutes with Ciccio Cozza and Nicola Ceravolo, but Piace staged a fightback before half-time through Bianchi and Tomas Guzman.

It was summer signing Edgar Barreto who secured their passage to the final 16 with the winning goal on 73 minutes to give Reggina a clash with Inter.

Source: C4 Football Italia

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