COPPA ITALIA

Roma beats Juventus in Coppa Italia

AS Roma forward Gervinho of Ivory Coast (C) celebrates with teamates at the end of their Coppa Italia Cup quarter final football match
Gervinho celebrates with his Roma teammates after defeating Juventus on Tuesday.
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ROME (AP)

TOWERS OF STRENGTH

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Gervinho scored a late winner as Roma beat league leader Juventus 1-0 in the Italian Cup quarterfinals on Tuesday.

The Cote d'Ivoire forward acrobatically finished Kevin Strootman's cross after a well-worked move with substitute Miralem Pjanic to line up a two-legged semifinal with either Napoli or Lazio.

It was a match between the top two sides in Serie A. Roma lost 3-0 in the league to Juventus earlier this month to slip eight points behind the two-time reigning league champion.

It was also a matchup between the two clubs which have won competition the most times, with both boasting nine Italian Cup victories.

Roma, which lost last year's final to bitter rival Lazio, started well and had two good opportunities inside the opening 11 minutes but first new signing Radja Nainggolan and then Alessandro Florenzi fired wide.

Juventus players and staff called furiously for a red card for Mehdi Benatia when he dragged down Sebastian Giovinco as the forward was attempting to race onto Andrea Pirlo's long ball. However, Benatia escaped with a booking.

The home side went close to taking the lead 10 minutes from halftime when Maicon rolled a tantalizing ball across goal and past Juventus goalkeeper Marco Storari - but there was no Roma player on hand to tap it in.

Juventus had the ball in the back of the net in the opening minute of the second half but Federico Peluso's header was ruled out as Mauricio Isla's cross had already gone out of play.

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