Wednesday November 30 2016
Coppa: Palermo crash out

Palermo were knocked out of the Coppa Italia by Serie B side Spezia, piling the pressure on Coach Roberto De Zerbi.

After a dull and goalless 120 minutes, the match was decided from the spot with Spezia goalkeeper Leandro Chichizola saving what would have been the winner from Norbert Balogh.

As if that wasn't enough, the Argentine dusted himself down to score a penalty of his own and keep the Serie B side in the hunt.

They triumphed on the next round of kicks, and the visitors now advance to play Napoli in January.

Spezia were a surprise package last season, knocking out Frosinone and Roma on their way to the Quarter Finals.

Rosanero goalkeeper Andrea Fulignati was called into action early, getting down low to deny Spezia striker Jaime Baez.

It was an insipid first half from the hosts, with Simone Lo Faso’s high shot just about the only chance created by De Zerbi’s side.

The Coach sent on some of his more prestigious names in the second half, with Alessandro Diamanti winning a free-kick on the edge of the area.

Robin Quiason took the kick, but Leandro Chichizola clawed it out of the top corner.

The match headed into extra-time, and Fulignati was again called into action, saving with his feet from Spezia captain Francesco Migliore.

Palermo were reduced to 10-men on 115 minutes, Roberto Vitiello shown a second yellow card.

The sides couldn't be separated, and after one miss each from the first five spot kicks, it came down to sudden death.

Remarkably, Chichizola had saved a kick from Norbert Balogh, before dusting himself down to take one himself to take it to the deciders.

Edoardo Goldaniga missed for the Rosanero, leaving his side's fate at the feet of Migliore.

The captain made no mistake, and sent the Sicilians crashing out. After a stay of execution earlier this week, De Zerbi's situation looks increasingly precarious.

Palermo 0-0 Spezia [Spezia win 4-5 on penalties]

Palermo: Fulignati; Rispoli, Goldaniga, Vitiello, Pezzella (Balogh, 91); Hiljemark, Gazzi, Bouy (Aleesami, 75); Sallai, Lo Faso (Diamanti, 65); Quaison

Spezia: Chichizola; De Col, N. Valentini, Ceccaroni, Migliore; Galli, Deiola, Vignali; Mastinu (Sciaudone, 103); Cisotti (Okereke, 76), Baez (Piu, 71)

Sent off: Vitiello [P] 115

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