🇮🇹 Hamza Rafia becomes shock Juve hero; Napoli and Inter advance

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Padraig Whelan

Article image: 🇮🇹 Hamza Rafia becomes shock Juve hero; Napoli and Inter advance

There were three big Coppa Italia last 16 clashes to enjoy throughout the day on Wednesday.

This is what went down.

Juventus 3-2 Genoa (AET)

Scorers: Kulusevski 2′, Morata 23′, Rafia 105′; Czyborra 27′, Melegoni 74′

Juventus debutant Hamza Rafia scored an extra-time winner to spare their blushes after they let a 2-0 lead slip against Genoa in Turin.

There were just 83 seconds on the clock when Dejan Kulusevski was picked out in the area to drill the Old Lady into a very early lead.

The Swede then turned provider to play Alvaro Morata in to coolly notch a second before Lennart Czyborra quickly reduced the arrears with a firm diving header that Gianluigi Buffon got a hand to but couldn’t keep out.

Ex-Juve man Marko Pjaca rattled the bar to give Buffon a big scare after the break and it was a warning that went unheeded as Filippo Melegoni curled in a slick effort from range to set up another period of extra-time.

In it, the 21-year-old Rafia announced his arrival by pouncing to set up a quarter-final tie with SPAL or Sassuolo and although the cynic may credit it as a Lukas Lerager own goal, it was undoubtedly the youngster’s moment.

Coppa Italia


Napoli 3-2 Empoli

Scorers: Di Lorenzo 18′, Lozano 38′, Petagna 77′; Bajrami 33′, 68′

Holders Napoli saw off the threat of a COVID-stricken yet impressive Empoli side to keep their dream of retaining their trophy alive.

In an exciting first half, Napoli took an early lead before being pegged back but regained their advantage when Chucky Lozano pounced upon a defensive error to lash in from 25 yards.

But from an almost identical position in the second half, Nedim Bajrami curled in his second of the game to reignite Azzurri hopes, only for some disastrous corner-kick defending to gift Andrea Petagna the winner.

Coppa Italia


Fiorentina 1-2 Inter (AET)

Scorers: Kouamé 56′; Vidal pen 40′, Lukaku 119′

Romelu Lukaku scored a last gasp winner at Fiorentina just as a penalty shootout appeared imminent to put Inter’s name in the hat for the next round.

They hit the front five minutes before half-time when Alexis Sánchez was fouled by goalkeeper Pietro Terracciano while striking against the post – allowing Arturo Vidal to stroke in from the spot after a VAR review.

But the Viola levelled when some penalty area ping-pong (and an audacious overhead-kick attempt), brought the ball to Christian Kouamé on the edge of the area who pinged in a sweet volley with the ball on the rise.

That brought extra-time, which in turn brought the winner, as Lukaku pounced with a header in the final minute before penalties to send the Nerazzurri into the quarter-final, where city rivals Milan await.

Coppa Italia


All times CET