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Updated January 10th, 2024 at 08:33 IST

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

The Italian Cup semifinals were reached by Fiorentina, the runner-up from the previous year, but they had to do so on penalties on Tuesday.

Fiorentina
Fiorentina's goalkeeper Oliver Christensen, center left, and the players of Fiorentina celebrate their victory at the Italian Cup soccer match between Fiorentina and Bologna at the Artemio Franchi Stadium | Image: AP
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Last year’s runner-up Fiorentina reached the semifinals of the Italian Cup, but it again had to do it on penalties on Tuesday.

Maxime Lopez converted the decisive spotkick 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, which needed penalties to beat second-division Parma in the round of 16, will face either AC Milan or Atalanta in the two-legged semifinals in April. Milan hosts Atalanta on Wednesday.

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

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

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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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Published January 10th, 2024 at 08:33 IST

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