Roma beats Udinese 2-0 in Italian Cup

AS Roma stretched its unbeaten streak to 18 games with a 2-0 win

over Udinese in the opening leg of the Italian Cup semifinals on

Thursday.

Mirko Vucinic opened the scoring in the 12th minute at Stadio

Olimpico and Philippe Mexes doubled the lead in the 40th.

Inter Milan beat Fiorentina in the other semifinal on

Wednesday.

The return legs are tentatively scheduled for April 14.

Roma has not lost since getting beat 2-1 by Udinese in the

Serie A on Oct. 28, compiling 15 wins and three draws in all

competitions.

Udinese eliminated AC Milan in the quarterfinals last week

but the northern club was struggling in the Serie A, only one point

clear of the relegation zone.

“It’s key that we scored two goals because there are two

months before the return leg and I’m sure they will improve by

then,” Roma coach Claudio Ranieri said.

Roma, which was tied for second in the league with Milan,

took the lead when Vucinic collected a 50-meter (yard) pass from

Daniele De Rossi, controlled the ball expertly and found the target

with a precise shot after beating the offside trap.

Mexes scored with a header from point-blank range following a

cross from David Pizarro.

Mexes exited in the 85th after an apparent bruise.

Udinese midfielder Gaetano D’Agostino picked up a yellow card

for a late, sliding tackle on Rodrigo Taddei in the 21st and will

miss the return leg.