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Serie A leaders AS Roma booked their place in the Coppa Italia showpiece despite losing 1-0 to a valiant Udinese Calcio in an exciting semi-final second leg at the Stadio Friuli.
The Giallorossi had won 2-0 in the first leg and rested several key players so Udinese attacked from the start, with Serie A leading scorer Antonio Di Natale missing two good opportunities in the first half. Roma continued to defend well after the break, although Alexis Sánchez scored for Udinese nine minutes from time to set up a frantic finale in which Marco Cassetti was sent off.
Claudio Ranieri's men were saved by goalkeeper Julio Sérgio, who deflected a Gökhan Inler's shot onto the post, while Udinese substitute Bernardo Corradi and Simone Pepe also went close to scoring the goal which would have taken the tie to extra time. On 5 May Roma will therefore have the chance to become the first team to win the Coppa Italia ten times when they face FC Internazionale Milano in the final at the Stadio Olimpico. The teams have met in four of the past five finals, Roma coming out on top in 2007 and 2008 and Inter prevailing in 2005 and 2006.
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|Last updated: 02/07/2011 05:31 CET|