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Violence mars Italian Cup

SHERRYLYN CLARKE, [email protected]

Violence mars Italian Cup

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ROME (AP) – Lorenzo Insigne scored two early goals as Napoli edged Fiorentina 3-1 to win the Italian Cup in a final marred by pre-game violence today.
A fan was in serious condition following a shooting on the outskirts of Rome before the match.
As a result of the shooting, in which an off-duty police officer was also reportedly injured, the final started 40 minutes late and there were scenes of violence inside the stadium, with a firefighter injured by fireworks thrown from the stands by Napoli supporters.
The pre-kickoff tension didn’t seem to bother Napoli, however, as Insigne quickly put the southern squad ahead 2-0.
Insigne’s first goal came 11 minutes in with an angled shot that bounced in off the post. He doubled the lead in the 17th by finishing off a counterattack with a shot that deflected in off defender Nenad Tomovic.
Peru midfielder Juan Vargas replied for Fiorentina in the 28th with a blast from the edge of the area.
The Viola nearly equalised in the 45th but a goal from Alberto Aquilani was annulled for offside.
Napoli finished with ten men when Gokhan Inler picked up his second yellow card for a foul from behind on Josip Ilicic in the 79th.
Ilicic had a golden chance to equalise in the 85th but shot wide.
Napoli substitute Dries Mertens added another goal in the second minute of added time.
It was the fifth Cup for Diego Maradona’s former club, with its last coming in 2012. In Serie A, Napoli sit third.
In the pre-match violence, several other fans were also reportedly injured, although the circumstances of the shootings were not clear.
Inside the stadium, Napoli captain Marek Hamsik went over to talk with the fans and calm them down before kickoff.
There was more chaos at the final whistle when Napoli fans invaded the pitch to celebrate, although they were quickly brought under control to allow the trophy ceremony to go forward.