Nakata puts Parma in pole position

Hidetoshi Nakata inspired Parma AC to a 2-0 first-leg defeat of Brescia Calcio in the Italian Cup.

Hidetoshi Nakata put Parma AC on course for the Italian Cup final after helping them to a 2-0 semi-final first-leg win over Brescia Calcio.

Marchionni added second
The Japan midfield player broke the deadlock for the hosts in the 55th minute, lifting the ball superbly past Brescia goalkeeper Pavel Srnicek. Marco Marchionni then doubled Parma’s lead with a header from Luigi Sartor’s cross in the 62nd minute.

Baggio injured
To make matters worse for Brescia, they lost midfield player Roberto Baggio to a knee injury on the hour mark. Chilean striker Mario Salgado replaced Baggio as Brescia pushed forward to try and pull a goal back. The second leg will be played on 7 February.

Mero honoured
Thursday night’s match was rearranged from last week after the death of Brescia player Vittorio Mero following a car accident. Brescia fans sang his name prior to kick off, to applause from the crowd at the Ennio Tardini stadium.