Napoli won the Coppa Italia against Fiorentina on Saturday afternoon by a score of 3-1, but a terrible incident occurred before the game started. A supporter of the Naples team was fatally shot as he walked toward the Olympic Stadium where the match was held.
The commotion started at a place called the Tor di Quinto, which is near the stadium. There supporters from the Naples team and AS Roma, a team which lost to the Naples team in the semi-finals, clashed and gun shots were involved. It was reported that three Napoli supporters and a police officer were injured . One of the Naples supporters died after he was taken to the Villa San Pietro hospital.
The game was delayed for 45 minutes as authorities tried to decide if the game should be played. Police found the gun that was responsible for the shooting, however the suspect that shot the gun was still at large. In the end, both teams decided to play the game amid the violence.
Napoli took the lead in the first 11 minutes of the game when striker Lorenzo Insigne scored a dazzling shot with his left. Insigne sent Fiorentina’s goal keeper, Norberto Murara Neto, diving as the ball got past him. The ball hit the right post and knocked itself into the net.
Six minutes later, Insigne scored again from an inaccurate, centered pass. The pass came from Argentine striker Gonzalo Higuain who broke free on the right side and centered the ball, a slow grounder. The ball slowly got past everyone through the ground. Insigne was the last to meet the ball on the far left and, once again, put the ball in the back of the net as he got a lucky deflection as well.
Fiorentina showed signs of life when they scored in the 28th minute. The ball was chipped over Napoli’s defensive line as Peruvian striker Juan Vargas beat the offside trap. “El Loco” Vargas shot off a volley after the ball had bounced once in front of him. It was a bullet, and goalkeeper Pepe Reina could not do anything about it.
Fiorentina had another goal right before the break to tie on a set piece, but the goal was annulled as one of the attackers was ruled offside. The player that was ruled offsides did not touch the ball. It was Alberto Aquilani who tapped the ball into the net and was not offside. However, the referee’s view was blocked and decided to go with the offside call.
In the second half, Napoli’s midfielder Gokham Inler was red carded on two cautions at the 79th minute. This gave Fiorentina 11 minutes to tie the game with a man advantage. It never happened for the Lilies, as Belgian midfielder Dries Mertens scored the last goal in stoppage time for Napoli.
This was the Naples team’s fifth title of the Coppa Italia tournament. The tournament involves teams from all divisions and is played alongside the regular season, Serie A, in Italy. If Fiorentina would have won, the Lilies would have received their seventh title in the Coppa Italia tournament.
Amid the violence that occurred before the game started, Napoli prevailed over Fiorentina in a spectacular match. It was too bad that the Naples supporter who was fatally shot did not get to see his team crowned as the Coppa Italia Champions.
Commentary by Jose Herrera