Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Coppa Italia: Round 4, 2nd Leg (2)

AC Milan will not be adding the Coppa Italia to their trophy cabinet this season after they were knocked out in the round of 16 by Catania, but Roma's defence goes on following a fightback to end Torino's hopes. Udinese and Fiorentina also made it into the next round.

After being beaten 2-1 at the San Siro in December's first leg, Milan knew they had it all to do in tonight's return in Catania and this task was made more difficult still when Juan Vargas scored after 12 minutes.

The visitors did find an equaliser through youngster Alberto Paloschi midway through the second half but it was not enough as Catania held on for a 3-2 aggregate win.

Both sides finished with 10 men late on after Catania defender Andrea Sottil was sent off for a foul as last man and Milan midfielder Gennaro Gattuso went for a second yellow card.

Catania's prize is a quarter-final meeting with Udinese, who eliminated Palermo in dramatic fashion - as an Antonio Floro Flores stoppage time goal handed them a narrow triumph.

With the game looking to be heading for extra time following the goalless opening leg in Udine, Flores' header silenced the fans at the Stadio Renzo Barbera.

Also into the last eight are holders Roma, who fought back from a 3-1 first leg deficit to overcome Torino 5-3 on aggregate in Rome.

Roma only started to rally back from the second half, when French midfielder Ludovic Giuly sprinted from just beyond the halfway line and served Mancini, who slotted in from a central position. Giuly was the provider again a couple of minutes later, this time for substitute Francesco Totti, who tucked the ball away from short range.

The Roma captain then nailed a spot-kick to claim his 200th career goal and Giuly completed the rout at the death.

Roma will now encounter Sampdoria, who thrashed Serie A basement club Cagliari 4-0 with an Emiliano Bonazzoli brace and goals by Luigi Sala and Angelo Palombo to wipe out a 1-0 deficit from the previous tie.

The only other game of the night took place in Florence where Fiorentina beat Serie B side Ascoli 2-0 to secure a 3-1 aggregate win.

Giampaolo Pazzini scored both goals for the UEFA Cup contenders who now look forward to a quarter-final against either Lazio or Napoli.

Lazio take a 2-1 advantage with them to Napoli on Thursday, while Serie A leaders Inter entertain Reggina after winning the away leg 4-1. If Inter advance to the next round they will face Juventus, who beat Empoli 5-3 on Tuesday for a 6-5 aggregate win.

The first legs of the quarter-finals are scheduled for 23 January with the return matches a week later.

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