Fri, Jan 22, 2016 - Page 18 News List

Juventus move into Coppa Italia semis

RIGHT PLACE, RIGHT TIME:In the only goal of the night, Stephan Lichtsteiner nudged the ball over the line after a fierce drive from Simone Zaza had come to the crossbar

AFP, ROME

Lazio’s Senad Lulic, left, and teammate Luca Biglia vie for the ball with Juventus’ Mario Mandzukic, second left, and teammate Stefano Sturaro during their Coppa Italia quarter-final match at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome on Wednesday.

Photo: EPA

Defending champions Juventus are to take on Inter for a place in the Coppa Italia final after edging Lazio 1-0 in the quarter-finals on Wednesday with goal-line technology summoned to clarify the winning goal.

On the back of 10 wins in a row in Serie A, Juventus grabbed the only goal of the night in the 66th minute at the Stadio Olimpico.

Swiss international Stephan Lichtsteiner, a former Lazio star, was in the right place at the right time to nudge the ball over the line after a fierce drive from Simone Zaza had come off the crossbar.

Lazio’s Albanian goalkeeper Etrit Berisha thought he had done enough to thwart Lichtsteiner’s close-range rebound, but goal-line technology showed the ball had just crossed the line.

“It will be a wonderful semi-final, you have to face the biggest clubs to reach the end, but right now we are focused on this weekend’s meeting with Roma in the league,” Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri said.

On Tuesday, Inter defeated Napoli 2-0 in a match overshadowed by an ugly row between rival coaches Roberto Mancini and Maurizio Sarri.

Mancini labelled Napoli counterpart Sarri a “racist” and said his rival had called him a “poof.”

Mancini and Sarri clashed on the touchline after Adem Ljajic killed off the quarter-final tie at the Stadio San Paolo in Naples in injury time to add to Stevan Jovetic’s opener.

“Maurizio Sarri is a racist and men like him have no place in soccer,” Mancini said on RAI TV after the game. “He used racist words. He started insulting me and then shouted at me, calling me a poof.”

Mancini said Sarri had used the words frocio and finocchio, both pejorative terms meaning homosexual.

Sarri brushed off the exchange as part and parcel of the game.

“I have seen and heard worse on a pitch,” he said. “I hope that in the cold light of day, Mancini will also change his point of view.”

“In my words, there was no form of discrimination, I have nothing against homosexuals. I have apologized to Mancini, for me everything is okay,” Sarri said.

The other semi-final is to take place between third-division Alessandria and AC Milan.

Meanwhile, in the league, US Sassuolo drew 1-1 with Torino to move level on points with AC Milan in sixth place.

Additional reporting by AP

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