The Coppa Italia title is headed to Naples after Napoli denied Cristiano Ronaldo, Gianluigi Buffon and Juventus the crown on Wednesday in Rome. Napoli defeated Juve 4-2 on penalty kicks after a scoreless regulation in the Coppa Italia final, preventing Ronaldo come earning his 32nd trophy. Napoli had the better chances and was the better team, but with no extra time as a new rule for this season’s competition, the underdogs took home the title from the spot with clinical finish after clinical finish.
Juventus goalkeeper Buffon saved his team several times in regulation including twice in added time, but it was not enough as Juve missed its first two spot kicks after regulation. Juventus coach Maurizio Sarri was facing his former team yet couldn’t get the better of them, losing his second cup final with the team after losing the Italian Super Cup to Lazio earlier in the season.
Juve’s first penalty taker, Paulo Dybala, had his shot saved by Alex Meret, and Danilo, the second taker for Juve, sent his shot over the bar. Napoli made all four of their attempts to shut the door and take home the coveted domestic cup.
For Napoli coach Gennaro Gattuso, it’s a day he will never forget. Not only was this his first major trophy as a professional coach, but it also comes just weeks after his beloved sister died. During what’s been a trying time in Italy with the coronavirus pandemic, you could tell after the match just what it meant to Gattuso as he addressed the team and club president Aurelio de Laurentiis.
After the semifinal second leg against Inter on Friday, Gattuso said he dedicated that result to his sister and family.
FT: Juventus 0, Napoli 0 (Napoli wins 4-2 on penalties)
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Penalties it is!
No extra time. Straight to penalties here. It all comes down to this.
A miracle. An absolute miracle. Buffon with two amazing saves at the very end. The first was a header on a corner, and the second on the rebound from a yard out. Absolutely out of this world.