Chievo, Roma into Italian Cup quarters

BY foxsports • January 11, 2012

Substitute Cyril Thereau's stoppage-time winner sent Chievo through to the Italian Cup quarterfinals on Wednesday with a 2-1 victory at Udinese. Roma also progressed with a comfortable 3-0 win against Fiorentina.

Paolo Sammarco put Chievo in front in the eighth minute but Udinese thought it had done enough to take the game into extra time when Antonio Di Natale equalized six minutes from time.

However, Thereau pounced in the opening minute of stoppage time to send Chievo through to a matchup against Siena.

''We conceded a goal we could have avoided at the beginning,'' Udinese coach Francesco Guidolin said. ''Then we just looked confused a bit and Chievo became more enthusiastic. If we had got to extra time I think we would have taken advantage of it more.

''But I wish the best of luck to Chievo which is in the quarterfinals. We wanted to get there too and I believe the team showed that. But we are Udinese, defeats can happen.''

In Rome, Fiorentina's defense committed three mistakes to gift Erik Lamela two goals and Fabio Borini one.

''We were lucky because Fiorentina wasted some real chances, but we were also good in that we had a good second half,'' Roma coach Luis Enrique said. ''We deserved to win in the second half as we created chances and scored three good goals. That also makes me happy for the fans, especially those who came to the stadium in this cold weather.''

Roma will meet Serie A co-leaders Juventus in the next round.

Udinese was the favorite coming into the game as it sits third in the Serie A standings, two points below AC Milan and Juventus and 15 above Chievo, but suffered its first loss at home since a 2-1 defeat to Arsenal in the Champions League in August.

Chievo, which had barely made an incursion into Udinese's half in the opening seven minutes, took the lead when Joel Ekstrand headed poorly back to his goalkeeper and Sammarco nipped in to fire his side in front.

Ekstrand went close to atoning for his error on the half-hour mark but his header was well saved by Chievo goalkeeper Christian Puggioni.

Chievo looked dangerous on the counterattack and shortly before the break Udinese defender Roberto Pereyra came close to scoring an own goal, deflecting Davide Moscardelli's cross just past the post.

Udinese brought on Antonio Floro Flores and Dusan Basta for the second half and it immediately looked like an improved side.

The more Udinese attacked however, the more it left itself exposed at the back and Gennaro Sardo almost took advantage with a swiveling shot which Samir Handanovic did brilliantly to keep out.

Udinese's hard work finally paid off six minutes from time when Di Natale leveled with a stunning 25-yard free kick.

The game appeared to be heading for extra time when Kamil Vacek threaded a delightful ball through for Thereau to fire under the onrushing Handanovic.

At the Stadio Olimpico, Fiorentina looked the more likely side to take the lead in the first half, with the ever-dangerous Stevan Jovetic going close on several occasions.

However, Roma started to improve as the first half came to a close and it took the lead eight minutes after the break.

A long ball into the area was headed out by the Fiorentina defense, but only as far as Francesco Totti. The Roma captain tried to muscle his way past two defenders, and although he was unsuccessful, he managed to squeeze the ball out to Lamela who fired it home.

Fiorentina almost immediately equalized as Jovetic found Manuel Pasqual completely unmarked in the area and the defender had plenty of time to control the ball, look up and unleash a fierce shot which Roma defender Cicinho got in the way of.

Lamela doubled his tally halfway through the second period. Borini stole the ball off Amidu Salifu and passed it to Totti, who tapped it on for the overlapping Lamela to fire a razing shot into the back of the net.

Another defensive error gifted Roma its third goal as Neto's goal kick fell straight to Borini, who raced 40 yards and rounded a defender, slotting the ball past him first, before firing it through Neto's legs.
 


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