Inter’s late equaliser in vain as Lazio win Cup shootout

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Lazio reached the Coppa Italia semi-finals with a 4-3 shootout win over Inter Milan who had forced a 1-1 draw with a penalty from the last kick of extra-time on Thursday.

Ciro Immobile put Lazio ahead in the second period of extra time but Mauro Icardi levelled from the spot in the 125th minute of an extraordinary match featuring missed chances, outstanding goalkeeping, a red card and two key VAR decisions.

Icardi’s goal was in vain, however, as Lazio goalkeeper Thomas Strakosha saved two penalties, from substitutes Lautaro Martinez and Radja Nainggolan, to give his side the win in the shootout and a semi-final against AC Milan.

Inter should have gone ahead midway through the second half when Strakosha parried Joao Mario’s shot but Antonio Candreva fired over the crossbar with the goal at his mercy.

Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic made outstanding saves in quick succession from Felipe Caicedo and Immobile at the end of the 90 minutes, then Martinez squandered another Inter chance by firing over from six metres.

Immobile put Lazio in front after exchanging passes with Caicedo, then Inter had Kwadwo Asamoah shown a direct red card for a high challenge but it was changed to yellow after the referee consulted the VAR official.

Deep into stoppage time, Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic clattered into Danilo D’Ambrosio.

The referee awarded Inter a free kick but changed the decision to a penalty after the VAR ruled it had happened just inside the area.

Lazio’s Stefan Radu was given a straight red card for dissent and Icardi fired the penalty past Strakosha as Inter avoided a third successive game without scoring.

The Albanian had the last laugh, however, with his heroics in the shootout. (Reuters/NAN)

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