MILAN (AP) — Substitute Romelu Lukaku scored a last-gasp winner as Inter Milan beat Fiorentina 2-1 on Wednesday to set up an Italian Cup quarterfinal against crosstown rival AC Milan.
Lukaku headed home a minute before the end of extra time in Florence, just as it appeared as if the match was heading for penalties.
The score was 1-1 at the end of regular time after Fiorentina’s Christian Kouame canceled out Arturo Vidal’s opener from the penalty spot.
Inter will be the home side when it plays its city rival at the end of the month. The two Milan teams are also leading Serie A with the Rossoneri top of the league, three points ahead of second-place Inter.
Fiorentina is dangerously close to the relegation zone in Serie A but it took the Nerazzurri until five minutes before halftime to break the deadlock.
Christian Eriksen’s effort was parried by Pietro Terracciano and Alexis Sanchez hit the post with the follow-up, but the Fiorentina goalkeeper had brought down the Chile striker as he unleashed his shot and the referee pointed to the spot.
Vidal then hit the penalty down the middle for his first goal for Inter.
Fiorentina was awarded a penalty of its own moments later when Milan Skriniar appeared to foul Kouame but the referee reversed his decision after a video review.
The hosts did equalize in the 57th minute. In a goalmouth scramble, the ball eventually fell to Kouame who had time to control it before blasting into the top right corner.
Lukaku had been rested but he was brought on in the 69th and, moments after seeing a great chance well saved by Terracciano, scored the winner by heading in Nicolo Barella’s cross from the right.
Defending champion Napoli was given a scare by second-division side Empoli before winning 3-2.
Napoli next faces Roma or Spezia, which play next week. Last year’s runner-up Juventus hosts Genoa later in their round-of-16 match.
Nedim Bajrami twice equalized for Empoli to cancel out goals from Giovanni Di Lorenzo and Hirving Lozano.
Andrea Petagna scored the winner in the 76th, turning in a rebound after Empoli midfielder Samuele Ricci had cleared Amir Rrahmani’s header off the line.
Empoli was hampered by the fact that its coach Alessio Dionisi and three players had been ordered to isolate after they were identified as close contacts to a fellow passenger on the flight they took back from a match who later tested positive for coronavirus.
More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports