Wednesday, 16 April 2008

[Coppa Italia] Semi-Final, 1st Legs

A second-half goal by Francesco Totti gave holders Roma a 1-0 win over Catania in the first leg of the Coppa Italia semi-finals while Lazio held Serie A leaders Inter in Milan.

A bullet strike from Francesco Totti gave Coppa holders Roma a 1-0 home triumph over Catania in the semi-final first-leg. The Giallorossi captain struck in the 47th minute to bring the Stadio Olimpico to life. With five Serie A games remaining and Roma still in contention for the Scudetto, coach Luciano Spalletti rested several of his top players in view of Saturday's league encounter against Livorno. The Sicilian outfit, who are fighting to avoid relegation, fielded their strongest team but it was the the Giallorossi who dominated. However, the home side could have extended their lead further to give them a cushion for the return in Sicily next month, but goalkeeper Ciro Polito made good saves from Amantino Mancini, Totti and Simone Perrotta to keep Catania's hopes of reaching their first ever final alive.

Inter were held to a goalless draw by Lazio in in other semi-final first-leg at the San Siro. With several key players rested, Inter, who have reached the final in the previous three seasons, struggled against a determined Lazio. Both teams had their share of chances to break the deadlock in the opening half but failed to find the finishing touch. The Biancoceleste, looking to bounce back from a disappointing season, had a goal disallowed in the 75th minute with Stefano Mauri's effort ruled out for offside. Inter defender Nicolas Burdisso almost handed his side the edge with 11 minutes remaining but his powerful header struck the crossbar having beaten goalkeeper Marco Ballotta. The tie will be decided in the return leg in Rome on May 7.

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