Casa Calcio: Juventus and Roma sail into Coppa Italia semis

Casa Calcio (Serie A Italy) brought to you by Trevor Stynes.

After the weekend’s quarter-final second leg ties, the final four teams in this season’s Coppa Italia are set.

Juventus and Roma made light work of their qualification whilst a scoreless draw was enough to take AC Milan through. Inter, despite losing at Fiorentina, managed to stay in the competition thanks to their first leg victory.

Juventus 5-0 Empoli (Juventus win 10-4 on aggregate)

Despite Empoli pushing Juventus all the way in the first leg, the return game turned into a formality for the home side.

Two first-half goals really silenced any hopes the visitors had of turning this tie around. After 20 minutes Barbara Bonansea put Juve ahead with a beautiful volley.

From a corner kick, Bonansea completely lost her marker, and when the ball came out to her from a headed clearance, she let fly first time with her left foot.

Ten minutes later and Empoli knew their task was becoming impossible. Cristiana Girelli, from the penalty spot, recorded her 50th goal in a Juventus shirt.

On the hour mark Linda Sembrant tapped home at the back post from a Valentina Cernoia free-kick.

Changes

With qualification assured, Juventus were able to make four changes in the second half. One of these, Andrea Stašková, would go on to score the final two goals of the game.

There was just ten minutes left to play when Martina Rosucci’s deflected shot came back off the crossbar. While this caused snow to fall on the Empoli keeper, Noemi Fedele, the ball fell kindly for Stašková who kept her nerve and sent the ball to the back of the net.

No Consolation

As the game headed into the closing minute, Juventus found time to add a fifth. Empoli almost had a consolation goal when Benedetta Glionna’s shot hit the post. Less than a minute later, and Stašková was in the right place again when Lina Hurtig’s effort was blocked on the line. The Czech striker was there to tap home the final goal of the game.

The league leaders continue their attempt at the double then, and will face AS Roma in the semi-final.

AC Milan 0-0 Sassuolo (1-1 on aggregate, Milan go through on away goals)

Milan’s away goal in the first leg was enough to take them into the semi-final.

This game was on a knife edge until the final whistle, where one goal would have been enough for the away side to qualify.

In the first-half it was Milan who came closest to breaking the deadlock. Linda Tucceri Cimini had a long range effort hit the crossbar three minutes before the break.

Just a minute later and Verónica Boquete’s cross was met by Natasha Dowie. Her header looked to be on it’s way to the back of the net but Sassuolo’s Belgian keeper, Diede Lemey somehow got a hand to it.

Second Half

After the break Sassuolo went in search of that essential goal. Just before the hour mark, Erika Santoro’s long range effort hit the crossbar before going over.

Their goal-scorer from the first leg, Davina Philtjens also had a chance with fifteen minutes left, but Milan were able to hold out until the final whistle.

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Milan’s Yui Hasegawa, made her first ever appearance from the club. The recent signing from Japan impressed in her 23 minutes on the pitch when she replaced Christy Grimshaw.

This result now sets up a Milan derby for the semi-final.

Fiorentina 1-0 Inter Milan (Inter win 2-1 on aggregate)

Having lost the first leg 2-0 in Milan, Fiorentina were unable to find a second goal at home which would have taken the tie to extra-time.

Neto Advantage

The home side were boosted by the return of Cláudia Neto to the starting line-up. The Portuguese midfielder did have a shot from distance after 15 minutes, but there was never enough power to beat Astrid Gilardi in the Inter goal.

Inter never really managed to create any clear cut chances in the opening half. Stefania Tarenzi hit an early attempt over the bar, and Marta Pandini’s long range effort never troubled Katja Schroffenegger.

Quinn Towers

With just under ten minutes left in the opening half, Fiorentina found that all-important opening goal. Sara Baldi’s free-kick was floated into the area, and Louise Quinn rose highest, with her header beating the onrushing Gilardi.

The second half opened with a chance for Inter, Gloria Marinelli was forced wide enough by Quinn and her shot went beyond the far post.

Fiorentina sent on Margherita Monnecchi after the break, and later would send in Greta Adami, Lana Clelland and Abigail Kim as they went in search of that second goal.

Daniela Sabatino controlled a long ball into the box but Eva Bartoňová did enough to disturb the Viola striker. Clelland’s pressure on the Inter defense set up Sabatino again but Gilardi was there to save her effort.

Clelland Close

The home side never relented in their attack on the Inter goal and with ten minutes remaining they almost got their reward. Clelland made her way into the box and managed to lift the ball over the keeper only to see her shot come back off the upright.

The rebound fell to Valery Vigilucci, but her shot was blocked on the line by Beatrice Merlo. Shades of handball and Fiorentina’s shouts for a penalty only grew louder when Lisa Alborghetti looked to have bundled Monnecchi to the ground. Nothing given, and Inter managed to hold out until the final whistle.

They now go on to face city rivals AC Milan in the semi-final.

AS Roma 6-1 Florentia San Gimignano (Roma win 10-1 on aggregate)

This tie was probably all over after Roma’s 4-0 away win in the first leg. That certainly didn’t hold them back when Florentia travelled to Rome for the return game.

Early Opener

After just two minutes, a generous penalty awarded for handball allowed Andressa Alves to open the scoring. Seven minutes later and Agnese Bonfantini added a second.

Sofia Cantore pulled one back four minutes later with a delightful chip over Rachele Baldi in the Roma goal. Roma however added another three goals before half-time.

Bonfantini scored her second of the game before Lindsey Thomas knocked in a rebound when Seraina Friedli had saved an effort from Andressa. The fifth was scored by Annamaria Serturini, she had time to control a pass from Andressa before putting it in the net.

Second Half

After the break and just one more goal to report, despite the home side again creating plenty of openings. With fifteen minutes left to play, it was second-half substitute Emma Severini who grabbed the final goal of the game.

Bonfantini in the box played the ball back, and from outside the area Severini hit it first time. Her strike gave Florentia’s Swiss keeper no chance.

Roma will surely face a sterner test in the semi-final, where Betty Bavagnoli’s team will be up against an unbeaten Juventus side.

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