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Joaquin Correa fires Lazio into Cup final after fascist flash mob

The Argentine player’s second-half goal was the difference between the sides.

Lazio forward Joaquin Correa.
Lazio forward Joaquin Correa.

Updated at 00.57

JOAQUIN CORREA’S second-half winner sent Lazio into the Coppa Italia final with a 1-0 victory over AC Milan at the San Siro on Wednesday, in a game marred by away fans holding a far-right flash mob.

Correa made the breakthrough 148 minutes into the tie after a goalless first leg back in February, and Lazio are now just one win from lifting the trophy for a seventh time.

Simone Inzaghi’s men will face either Fiorentina or Atalanta in the final at their home stadium, the Stadio Olimpico, on May 15, with the other semi-final level at 3-3 heading into Thursday’s second leg.

“We fully deserved qualification, but now must focus on Serie A building up to the final in our stadium,” Inzaghi told television channel Rai Sport.

“We could’ve taken the lead earlier, but Pepe Reina did very well in goal.”

Hardcore Lazio fans displayed a banner reading “Honour to Benito Mussolini” before the game, sang fascist songs and performed the Nazi salute.

A short video circulating on social media showed the group holding up the banner, signed ‘IRR’ in a reference to the Irriducibili — Lazio’s hardcore ‘ultra’ supporters who have a long history of hard-right politics.

Both sides had chances in an otherwise cagey first half, with Milan wing-back Davide Calabria seeing a long-range effort saved by visiting goalkeeper Thomas Strakosha, before Reina denied Correa on the stroke of half-time.

But Lazio did take the lead just before the hour mark, as Ciro Immobile broke free and played in Correa, who took his time and slipped the ball through the legs of the onrushing Reina to score his sixth goal of the season.

Milan striker Patrick Cutrone saw a 76th-minute effort ruled out for offside as the hosts tried to set up a grandstand finish.

But Lazio never looked in serious trouble of losing their final place, as they held on to also exact revenge for their ill-tempered 1-0 Serie A defeat at the San Siro 11 days ago.

– © AFP 2019

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