Soccer

Roma beats Inter in first leg of Italian Cup semis

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Associated Press
1/23/2013 5:07:16 PM
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ROME -- Roma beat Inter Milan 2-1 in the first leg of the Italian Cup semifinals on Wednesday.

Alessandro Florenzi gave Roma the lead when he headed Ivan Piris' cross into the top left corner in the 13th minute.

Roma was dominating and Mattia Destro doubled its advantage 20 minutes later, getting in between two Inter defenders to head home another Piris cross.

The capital club had further chances to extend its lead before a howler allowed Inter to get back in the game a minute from halftime.

Roma's Nicolas Burdisso was caught napping, allowing Rodrigo Palacio to rush in completely unmarked and slot home Esteban Cambiasso's free kick.

It was Palacio's second goal against Roma in a week, after he scored in Sunday's 1-1 draw in the league.

The second leg was meant to be played next week but has been moved due to the Six Nations, and will take place in April.

Lazio and Inter drew 1-1 in the first leg of their semifinal on Tuesday.

Inter was again without Antonio Cassano, Diego Milito, Walter Samuel, Philippe Coutinho, Ricky Alvarez, Dejan Stankovic and Luca Castellazzi.

Roma had several chances to add to its tally, especially in the first half.

"We have an advantage and will try to increase it in the second leg," Roma coach Zdenek Zeman said. "We did everything right in the first half and it could've ended 4-0 with no complaints."

Francesco Totti lost the ball attempting to round Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic and it fell to Erik Lamela, but Andrea Ranocchia got back to clear off the line.

Handanovic also had to act smartly as he was caught by surprise by an effort from Destro, but he recovered to palm it onto the inside of his post.

Fredy Guarin hit the post for Inter.

Alessandro Florenzi  (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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