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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 23 April 2024

Fiorentina needs penalties to beat Bologna and reach Italian Cup semis for 3rd straight year

Maxime Lopez converted the decisive spot-kick as Fiorentina beat Bologna 5-4 on penalties after the match ended goalless in Florence — although the visitors hit the woodwork three times

AP/PTI Florence Published 11.01.24, 10:46 AM
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Last year’s runner-up Fiorentina reached the semi-finals of the Italian Cup, but they again had to do it on penalties on Tuesday.

Maxime Lopez converted the decisive spot-kick as Fiorentina beat Bologna 5-4 on penalties after the match ended goalless in Florence — although the visitors hit the woodwork three times.

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After a penalty masterclass from both teams, Stefan Posch blasted Bologna’s final kick over the bar, giving Lopez the opportunity to secure Fiorentina’s place in the final four for the third straight year.

Fiorentina, who needed penalties to beat second-division Parma in the round of 16, will face either AC Milan or Atalanta in the two-legged semi-finals in April.

Bologna are enjoying a great season and knocked out two-time defending champion Inter Milan in the previous round.

They were sitting just a point below fourth-placed Fiorentina in Serie A, with both sides fighting hard for the Champions League qualifying spots.

Bologna had the better of the chances in Florence and should have taken the lead in the 34th minute but Joshua Zirkzee’s effort came off the crossbar after some fancy footwork from the Dutch forward.

Riccardo Orsolini also hit the post for Bologna early in the second half, while Zirkzee saw another attempt palmed onto the left upright by Fiorentina goalkeeper Oliver Christensen in the third minute of extra time.

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