Tuesday December 14 2010
Coppa: Crespo double sinks Viola

Hernan Crespo came off the bench to bag a brace in two minutes, as Parma fought back to eliminate Fiorentina from the Coppa Italia in extra time.

The Round of 16 kicked off this evening at the Stadio Tardini, where Parma began their entry into the competition.

Valeri Bojinov and Marco Marchionni faced their former clubs, but Adrian Mutu was left in the stands.

Alessio Cerci fired over early on, but Sebastian Giovinco came extremely close when his free kick curled over the wall only to thump the upright after 16 minutes.

Soon after Fiorentina also rattled the woodwork, as Cerci's cross was whipped in for a Khouma Babacar header on to the crossbar.

Bojinov and Francesco Valiani had good chances whistle off target.

After the restart Marchionni nearly scored with a fantastic volley at the back post from Cerci's cross, forcing Nicola Pavarini into a tricky save.

Cerci then stung Pavarini's palms with a powerful solo effort and Giovinco had a strike charged down in the box.

On 67 minutes Babacar sprinted off between the centre-backs on a Cerci through ball and fell under a Pavarini challenge, but the referee correctly waved play on.

Giovinco's long-range daisy-cutter was deflected inches wide of the upright, but Fiorentina somehow failed to score on 79 minutes.

First Pavarini beat away a fierce Adem Ljajic strike, then the Babacar follow-up and eventually they were flagged offside.

A smart trap and half-volley from Giovinco was fingertipped round the base of the post.

In the final minute, substitute Hernan Crespo sprung the offside trap and Vlada Avramov had to parry with his legs at the near post.

There were no goals after 90 minutes, so the game went to extra time.

Cerci set up another scoring opportunity for Ljajic, whose right-foot strike was palmed out of the bottom corner.

Giovinco again forced Avramov into fingertipping a shot out of the top corner, while Valiani also tested the shot-stopper.

Haris Seferovic went close and Gaetano D'Agostino thumped the woodwork with his left-foot finish.

Fiorentina eventually took the lead with Mario Alberto Santana's daisy-cutter and there were only six minutes left of extra time.

However, Parma completed an extraordinary comeback in the space of three minutes. First Crespo turned Alessandro Lucarelli's cross into the bottom corner, then the Argentine veteran completed his brace with a left-foot effort.

Parma go through to the Coppa Italia quarter-finals.

Parma 2-1 Fiorentina (aet)

Scorers: Santana 114 (F), Crespo 115, 117 (P)

Parma: Pavarini; Zaccardo, Paci, Dellafiore, Pisano (Lucarelli 101); Valiani, Dzemaili, Morrone; Candreva, Bojinov (Crespo 80), Giovinco (Paletta 120)

Fiorentina: Avramov; Comotto, Kroldrup, Camporese, Gulan; Donadel (Bolatti 46), D'Agostino; Cerci, Ljajic (Santana 99), Marchionni; Babacar (Seferovic 86)

Ref: Mazzoleni