Milan beat Atalanta, Gramenet hold Betis
Rome, January 28:
Obafemi Martins kept his balance on an icy field to score in the 72nd minute and give Inter Milan a 1-0 victory at Atalanta in an Italian Cup first-leg quarter-final on Thursday.
Earlier in Sardinia, Honduras striker David Suazo set up one goal and scored another in the first half as Cagliari beat Sampdoria 2-0. At Atleti Azzurri stadium in Bergamo, the night match was played in subfreezing temperatures with players hardly controlling the ball and often skidding to the ground.
Martins, the Nigerian striker who appeared as a second-half substitute, converted the visitors’ first scoring opportunity. At Sant’Elia stadium in Cagliari, Emanuele Bianchi, fed by Suazo, scored the opening goal after four minutes with a slow diagonal shot as goalkeeper Luigi Turci skidded on the hard ground and could not dive. Suazo made it 2-0 when he controlled the ball with his chest, beat a defender and scored with a spectacular volley in the 24th.
In Wednesday’s quarter-final action, defending league champion AC Milan rallied to a 3-2 home victory over Udinese on a late goal by Brazilian Serginho, and AS Roma beat Fiorentina 1-0 at Stadio Olimpico on a first-half winner by midfielder Daniele De Rossi.
Copa del Rey
Brazilian midfielder Marcos Assuncao’s 75th-minute equaliser earned Real Betis a 2-2 away draw with soccer minnow Gramenet in the first leg of the Copa del Rey quarter-finals.
Betis’ hard-earned draw made it favourite to reach the last four of Spain’s knockout competition when the teams meet again at its stadium in next week’s second leg. Betis striker Fernando Fernandez opened the scoring in the 16th minute, with a Juanito Gutierrez own goal drawing Gramenet level six minutes later. The third-division team, which eliminated FC Barcelona and Levante in previous rounds, scored a second goal in the 53rd, courtesy of striker Oscar Olles.