April 25, 2019 / 10:16 PM / 25 days ago

Gomez strike sends dark horses Atalanta to Coppa Italia final

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Coppa Italia Semi-final Second Leg - Juventus vs Atalanta - Allianz Stadium, Turin, Italy - February 28, 2018 Atalanta's Alejandro Gomez in action with Juventus’ Stephan Lichtsteiner REUTERS/Massimo Pinca

MILAN (Reuters) - Surprise package Atalanta reached the Coppa Italia final for the first time since 1996 when an Alejandro Gomez strike gave them a 2-1 win over Fiorentina in their semi-final second leg on Thursday.

The Argentine’s low drive from the edge of the area was fumbled by goalkeeper Alban Lafont in the 69th minute as Atalanta completed a 5-4 aggregate win to continue their remarkable season.

Luis Muriel put Fiorentina ahead after three minutes, slipping the ball past Pierluigi Gollini after being sent clear by Federico Chiesa’s incisive pass.

Atalanta levelled 11 minutes later, Josip Ilicic converting a penalty after Gomez went down under a challenge from Federico Ceccherini.

Atalanta, who will meet Lazio in the final on May 15 in Rome, have won the competition once, in 1963 — the Bergamo club’s only major trophy. Fifth in Serie A, they are also challenging for a place in next season’s Champions League.

The defeat effectively ended Fiorentina’s season as they are 11th in Serie A with no realistic chance of qualifying for Europe and are under no threat of relegation.

Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Toby Davis

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