Lazio beats Inter Milan in shootout, advances to Italian Cup semis

Indo Asian News Service

Rome, Feb 1 (IANS) Lazio eliminated Inter Milan after a penalty shootout and qualified for the semi-finals of the Coppa Italia, after a match that ended 0-0 in regulation and 1-1 after extra time.

Icardi's goal on Thursday gave hope to Inter, but a mistake from the 11 meter spot of their Belgian Radja Nainggolan, followed by the successful score of Brazilian Lucas Leiva, gave Lazio, Sevilla's opponent in the final 16th of the European League, a hard-fought victory, reports Efe news.

Coach Simone Inzaghi's Lazio squad had been superior for 120 minutes but crashed into an outstanding performance from Inter's Slovenian goalkeeper Samir Handanovic, who forced extra time with a few great saves, the most important of which happened in the 90th minute after a shot by Ecuadorian Felipe Caicedo.

However, despite suffering for most of the game, Inter managed to get a definite chance before extra time in the 94th minute, but Argentina's Lautaro Martinez missed the goal when he shot from less than 10 meters away.

In extra time, Ciro Immobile put Lazio ahead in the 108th minute after a great combination with Caicedo, but a penalty for Lazio's Serbian midfielder Milinkovic-Savic, converted by Mauro Icardi in the 125th minute, forced the penalty shootout.

There, Argentina's Lautaro Martinez and Nainggolan missed for Inter. For Lazio there was a mistake by Denmark's Riza Durmisi, a former Betis player, but Lucas Leiva did not miss and gave the Romans their pass to the semi-finals.

Coach Simone Inzaghi's side will face AC Milan in the semi-final, who eliminated Napoli (2-0) with a brace from Poland's Krzysztof Piatek.

The other semi-final will be played between Fiorentina, who humiliated Roma 7-1 on Wednesday, and Atalanta, who eliminated Juventus, four times consecutive Italian champions, with a resounding 3-0 and a brace from Colombian Duvan Zapata.

The semi-finals will be played over two-legs on February 27 and April 24. The final of the Coppa Italia will be played on May 15 in Rome, at Lazio's home ground the Stadio Olimpico.

--IANS

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