Draw at Catania gives Roma Italian Cup final

May 9th, 2008 - 2:43 pm ICT by admin  

Milan, May 9 (DPA) Trophy holders Roma drew 1-1 at Catania and moved into the Italian Cup final through a 2-1 aggregate score. The Rome side are now to play a fourth straight final against Inter Milan, who defeated them in the 2005 and 2006 editions. The showdown will be May 24 in Rome, where it had been scheduled at the tournament’s start.

Inter qualified Wednesday, beating Lazio 2-0 after a scoreless draw in the home leg.

Roma’s brisk start Thursday produced only a harmless volley from Simone Perrotta but was rewarded on 26 minutes as Alberto Aquilani converted a spot kick after Mariano Izco fouled Mirko Vucinic.

It took Catania only three minutes to equalise through a header from Cristian Silvestri, partly thanks to Roma’s poor defence on a dead-ball situation.

The Catania defender had the leisure to aim his header past Gianluca Curci as Roma’s back package did not react to a free kick that Giuseppe Mascara curled from the right flank.

There was more pressing but no telling chances from Catania before the break as the Sicily side had chosen to spare their forwards Gionatha Spinesi and Vargas as they struggle to avoid relegation in the Serie A.

Aquilani opened the second half volleying from the area limit but had his shot saved by Albano Bizzarri, while Catania countered with Mascara’s fast but wide drive from the distance, and his Argentinian striking mate Izco had a shot saved.

Bizzarri had to block a threatening break from Perrotta on 52 minutes and five minutes later was saved by the bar as the Roma midfielder nodded against the bar.

The pace slowed in the remainder of the game as Roma were pleased with the result and limited themselves to retain steady control in midfield, creating a late chance with a spurt from Vucinic.

“It is a satisfaction because we’ll play another final before our public, which confirms how well these boys played. (Catania) are good on dead balls and managed to have a free man in the area who made a great goal,” Roma coach Luciano Spalletti said.

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