NEWS
Tuesday December 13 2011
Palermo and Siena's eight-goal thriller

Siena are through to the Coppa Italia quarter-finals after overcoming Palermo on penalties after a thrilling high-score extra-time draw.

After a 1-0 defeat at home to Cesena ended Palermo’s 100 per cent record at the Renzo Barbera, Coach Devis Mangia rang the changes for the midweek knockout fixture. Only Afriyie Acquah and Josip Ilicic maintained their starting spots as a new-look defence and attack was brought in.

Similarly, Giuseppe Sannino, who was incidentally serving a touchline ban for his dismissal against Cagliari in the previous round, made eight changes to his Siena side that had lost three League games on the bounce.

Despite missing a number of good opportunities on the break in an open first half, Siena managed to eventually end their three-game goal-drought to open the scoring on 21 minutes. Reginaldo capitalised on a rebound to head home the advantage after Marcelo Larrondo’s initial header had crashed against the crossbar.

A frantic final five minutes to the half first saw Ilicic level for Palermo from the penalty spot only for the Rosanero to immediately fell behind again to a well-worked passing move by the Robur. Cutting through the home side’s defence Gonzalez was on hand to provide a side-footed finish.

Seconds after that half-time, Palermo had a great double-chance to equalise but a combination of Gianluca Pegolo’s save and the crossbar came to Siena’s rescue.

Within a minute of the restart though, Palermo did draw level through Ilicic’s second of the night. Siena’s failure to clear a cross saw the tall Slovenian pounce on a loose ball to slide it past Pegolo.

Close to the hour mark, Siena retook the lead through Reginaldo’s second of the night. Alone in the area, the Brazilian did well to work space for an initial shot to test substitute goalkeeper Giacomo Brichetto before expertly capitalising on the rebound to volley it into the roof of the net.

Minutes later, the forward had an excellent opportunity for the hat-trick as the ball rebounded to the unmarked striker in the area, but he was denied from five yards out by Brichetto’s excellent save.

Ilicic, however, did secure a hat-trick with a last-gasp equaliser - his second from the penalty spot - to pull the tie into extra time. From there, Nicolas Bertolo’s excellent curling finish from just inside the area gave the home side the lead for the first time on the night.

However, once again Siena immediately replied with a goal of their own as an unmarked Angelo ran into the area to side-foot past Brichetto, which ultimately took the game into penalties.

Despite scoring two penalties in normal time, Ilicic missed his in the shootout. It was also sandwiched between Mauro Bollino and Mauro Cetto’s misses for Palermo that saw them crash out 3-0 on penalties.

Palermo 4-4 Siena

(Siena win 3-0 on penalties)

Scorers: Reginaldo 21, 59 (S), Ilicic pen 39, 46, pen 90+1 (P), Gonzalez 40 (S), Bertolo 98 (P), Angelo 100 (S)

Palermo: Tzorvas (Brichetto 41); Aguirregaray, Migliaccio, Cetto, Mantovani (Bollino 72); Alvarez, Acquah, Della Rocca, Lores; Iličić; Budan (Bertolo 60)

Siena: Pegolo; Angelo, Contini, Pesoli, Rossi; Reginaldo (Angella 88), Bolzoni, Codrea (Parravicini 68), Grossi; Larrondo (Sestu 53), Gonzalez

Ref: Baiano

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