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Italian Cup: Lukaku Books Inter Clash With AC Milan, Holders Napoli Advance

Romelu Lukaku headed in an extra-time winner as Inter Milan set up an Italian Cup quarter-final clash with city rivals AC Milan on Wednesday with a 2-1 last-16 win over Fiorentina.

Belgian Lukaku connected with Nicolo Barella’s cross in the 119th minute to beat Fiorentina goalkeeper Pietro Terracciano and snatch a late triumph.

Chilean Arturo Vidal had given Inter the advantage five minutes before the break-in normal time after a VAR review judged Terracciano to have fouled Alexis Sanchez.

But Christian Kouame blasted in a superb equaliser 12 minutes after half-time to take the match to extra-time.

Lukaku came off the bench on 69 minutes and with a minute to go ensured Inter avoided going to a penalty shootout with his 17th goal this season in all competitions.

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“It was important to qualify, there will be time to recover,” said coach Antonio Conte days before Inter host champions Juventus in Serie A.

“This results will give us a boost. We’ll now measure our ambitions against Juventus.”

AC Milan won 5-4 on penalties on Tuesday after their match against Torino ended 0-0 after extra time.

Holders Napoli advanced with a hard-fought 3-2 win over Empoli.

The Tuscany side had a Covid-19 scare hours before kick-off with several team members forced to isolate after contact with a positive case. All tested negative.

Andrea Petagna scored the winner off a rebound with a quarter of an hour to go after Nedim Bajrami had twice pulled Empoli level.

Giovanni Di Lorenzo headed in a Hirving Lozano cross after 18 minutes, with the Mexican scoring the second seven minutes before the break.

Napoli next play either Roma or Spezia in the quarter-finals.

Record 13-time winners Juventus taking on Genoa in Turin later Wednesday.

AFP

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