Napoli beats Inter 2-0 in Cup quarterfinals
Milan: Edinson Cavani scored twice to dump defending champion Inter Milan out of the Italian Cup as Napoli won 2-0 to progress to the semifinal against Siena.
Cavani converted a penalty in the 50th minute after being tripped by Thiago Motta in what could very well be the Brazilian`s last game for Inter. The Uruguayan sealed the result in the stoppage time last night.
Inter had a decent penalty claim of its own turned down when Diego Milito was brought down by Christian Maggio. Inter, which won the competition the last two years, missed the semifinals for the first time since 2003.
Napoli will meet Siena after the Serie A struggler reached the semifinals for the first time by winning 1-0 at Chievo Verona despite having a player sent off.
Substitute striker Mattia Destro scored in the 54th minute. Paolo Grossi was dismissed six minutes later.
Napoli dominated the first half and should have taken the lead in the 15th minute. Walter Gargano found Maggio with a long ball and the Napoli midfielder controlled the ball with his right foot before unleashing a hard shot but Inter goalkeeper Luca Castellazzi did even better to tip it away to safety.
Gargano went close minutes later with a powerful free kick which went narrowly wide of the left hand post.
Salvatore Aronica could have put Napoli in front shortly before halftime after he was picked out by Marek Hamsik but his effort was too weak and central and Castellazzi saved comfortably.
Inter had not produced anything of note and coach Claudio Ranieri was forced to talk to Wesley Sneijder who has only recently returned after a lengthy injury following several nasty tackles, notably one on Gargano for which the Dutchman was lucky to escape a booking or even a straight red.
The Serie A giant looked a better side after the break but went behind five minutes after the restart.
Motta, whose agent said the Italy international could be playing his last game for Inter before a potential move to Paris Saint Germain, tripped up Cavani in the area and the Napoli striker fired his spot kick straight down the middle.
Inter could have had a penalty six minutes later when Maggio brought down Milito, but nothing was given and the Argentine was booked for his protests.
Sneijder almost scored with a 40-yard free kick on the hour mark but Napoli goalkeeper Morgan De Sanctis did well to keep it out.
Ricardo Alvarez also went close to the equaliser but, under pressure from Juan Camilo Zuniga, he shot weakly straight at De Sanctis.
Both teams could have scored in a frantic finish. Inter had perhaps its best chance of the game three minutes from time as first Mauro Zarate and then Sneijder forced De Sanctis into a double save.
But Cavani sealed the result in the third minute of stoppage time, cutting inside past Andrea Ranocchia and rounding the onrushing Castellazzi before slotting home.
Earlier, Siena, which is four points above the relegation zone in 17th place in the Serie A standings, went through for the first time.
Destro was brought on seven minutes into the second half and the on-loan Genoa forward had an immediate impact.
Alessandro Gazzi nodded on a corner to Destro, who was in an ideal position in the center of the six-yard box to head home.
Chievo was boosted on the hour mark when Grossi was sent off for bringing down Francesco Acerbi on the halfway line.
However, Siena was solid, despite the numerical disadvantage, and it was the visiting team which went closest to scoring when Destro miscontrolled a long ball with his head, allowing a relieved Christian Puggioni to rush out of his area and gather.