S.S. Lazio and Beşiktaş JK were among the winners on a busy night of cup action across Europe on Tuesday, although FC Schalke 04's season shows no signs of improving as they fell to lower-league opposition in Germany.
Goran Pandev and Tommaso Rocchi scored second-half goals as Lazio came from behind to defeat Juventus in the first leg of their Coppa Italia semi-final at the Stadio Olimpico. Juve took the lead through Marco Marchionni's deflected shot in the 34th minute yet were soon on the retreat as goalkeeper Alex Manninger repelled Rocchi and Cristián Ledesma. The Austrian could do nothing to keep out Pandev's low drive on 65, however, and was beaten again with 12 minutes to play as Rocchi outstripped Giorgo Chiellini to convert Matuzalem's delightful pass. The tie concludes in Turin on 22 April, while UC Sampdoria take on FC Internazionale Milano in the other semi.
Le Mans UC 72 were knocked out by EA Guingamp as Bakary Koné scored a late winner which sent the second division club into the quarter-finals. That was the only giantkilling of the night, however, as Ligue 1 high-fliers Toulouse FC beat US Boulogne 2-0 away and Grenoble Foot 38 ousted Dijon FCO on penalties after drawing 1-1 over 120 minutes. The remaining five ties are played on Wednesday, including LOSC Lille Métropole against the holders Olympique Lyonnais.
An 88th-minute set-piece ended Schalke's hopes of rescuing a disappointing season with a cup triumph as they fell at the quarter-final stage to 1. FSV Mainz 05. Schalke dominated without converting their possession into chances, and were punished late on as Aristide Bancé found himself unmarked from a free-kick to fire the second-tier side into a first-ever semi-final.
Besiktas won the away first leg of their semi-final against Ankaraspor AS 3-1 to make themselves firm favourites to advance. The Black Eagles had to come from behind in the capital after Bilal Kisa put the hosts ahead from the spot in the 25th minute, but recovered to record a comfortable victory thanks to goals from Matías Delgado (41), Filip Hološko (77) and Hakan Simsek (89). Fenerbahçe SK and Sivasspor get their tie under way on Wednesday.
CD Nacional will fancy their chances of reaching the final of the Taça de Portugal after securing a 2-2 first-leg draw away to FC Paços de Ferreira. Leandro Tatu (16) and Dedé (62) were on target for the home side, with Mateus (28) and in-form Nené (34) replying for the islanders, who host the second leg on 22 April. FC Porto and CF Estrela da Amadora are contesting the other semi.
Riding high in second place in the second division, K. Lierse SK produced an excellent display to hold KRC Genk – fourth in the top flight – to a 2-2 draw in their semi-final first leg. Genk took a 13th-minute lead through Elianiv Barda's penalty but needed an equaliser from Tom De Mul (74) to salvage a draw after Seth De Witte (23) and Julien Tshiala (61) had struck for Lierse. The action continues on Wednesday with Cercle Brugge KSV versus KV Mechelen, with both ties being played to a finish on 22 April.
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