AC Milan clinch cup semis with brace from Pato

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

ROME - AC Milan qualified for the semi-finals of the Italian Cup Wednesday with a 2-1 win at Sampdoria.

Pato seemed to have settled matters in the first half hour with a brace that the Devils defended with minor problems in the first half.

The Brazilian volleyed home off a header from compatriot Thiago Silva as the Samp defence dithered on a corner, and on 22 minutes left Pietro Accardi standing to fire past Angelo Da Costa, himself a Brazilian.

Samp’s captain Angelo Palombo and twice Federico Macheda fired imprecise drives before Greek defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos blocked a sure-fire shot from striker Massimo Maccarone.

The new arrival from Palermo confirmed his good debut with Samp and six minutes after the break centred a good cross for a winning header by Stefano Guberti.

The goal boosted the home team’s tempo, with Milan at times struggling as Dutch newcomers Marc van Bommel and Urby Emanuelson tried to fit in a midfield that missed Andrea Pirlo, Gennaro Gattuso and Clarence Seedorf.

Macheda tried again from a tight angle with Maccarone lurking by goalkeeper Flavio Roma as Samp produced good but uneventful pressure until game’s end.

Roars and jeers from the home fans filled the Luigi Ferraris when Milan brought on Antonio Cassano for Brazilian Robinho with 12 minutes left.

The talented striker left Samp in December after having been sidelined over a row with club president Riccardo Garrone.

Napoli and cup holders Inter Milan play later Wednesday, while Juventus and Roma complete the quarter-final schedule Thursday.

Palermo Tuesday beat Parma on penalties, prevailing 5-4 after a scoreless draw.

Filed under: Soccer

will not be displayed