Inter Milan fail to overcome wide deficit in Italian Cup
Rome - A 1-0 win Thursday over Sampdoria was not enough for Inter Milan to secure the final of the Italian Cup as the Genoa guests prevailed through a 3-1 aggregate score.
Samp pulled no punches despite the wide lead from the first leg and relied on playmaker Antonio Cassano to finalize their solid midfield play with assists for Giampaolo Pazzini, who scored a brace in the first leg in Genoa.
Swedish star Zlatan Ibrahimovic tried a long-range free kick on nine minutes, one minute before Paolo Sammarco had his shot saved off a feed from Cassano.
Pazzini threatened with a wide header shortly before Inter's 27th- minute lead through Ibra, who put Inter ahead with a great drive by the far post.
Two minutes later, goalkeeper Luca Castellazzi managed to save an Ibra header despite slipping on the grass, but on 37 minutes had to thank the woodwork as the striker was left unopposed on the left and aimed a lob that bounced off the far post.
The Swede's great form was confirmed on 45 minutes by a great cross that Argentina's Julio Cruz nodded wide by a hairsbreadth.
Samp had a good chance on 64 minutes as a devastating Cassano break left the defence standing, but Brazil's star goalkeeper Julio Cesar rushed ahead with great timing to block the striker's spurt.
Drives from Samp substitute Gennaro Delvecchio, an Ibra volley and the dismissal of Inter defender Marco Materazzi for protests highlighted the final minutes of the game.
"I think we deserved to win for what we did in both games," Samp coach Walter Mazzarri said. "We did a great thing in first leg and today. We did not score but were good on the pitch against a team of phenoms."
Lazio on Wednesday secured the other finalist berth, prevailing over Juventus with a 4-2 aggregate score. The side from the capital will meet Samp on May 12 on home turf as the final is scheduled at Rome's Stadio Olimpico.(dpa)