Coppa Italia: Napoli reaches final after second leg draw against Inter

Napoli went through to the final of the Coppa Italia on goal aggregate after the semifinal second leg against Inter Milan ended in a 1-1.

Dries Mertens celebrates his 41st equaliser for Napoli during the Coppa Italia semifinal second leg against Inter Milan.   -  ap

Napoli reached the Coppa Italia final with a 1-1 draw at home to Inter Milan on Saturday as Dries Mertens' 41st minute goal cancelled out Christian Eriksen's second-minute opener scored directly from a corner kick.

Mertens, in his seventh season for Partenopei, took his goals tally to 122 in all competitions as he overtook Marek Hamsik, with Diego Maradona third on 115.

Napoli went through 2-1 on aggregate thanks to its 1-0 win at San Siro four months ago and will meet Juventus in Rome in Wednesday's final. Both teams were playing their first game since the end of the three-month stoppage for the coronavirus.

Napoli goalkeeper David Ospina, badly at fault for Eriksen's goal, made up for his early mistake with several important saves in the semi-final, second leg.

READ: Coppa Italia: Juventus scrapes into final after Milan stalemate

With no fans allowed, the shouting of Napoli's Gennaro Gattuso and Inter's Antonio Conte, two famously passionate coaches, echoed around the stadium for the entire match.

Inter wiped out its first-leg deficit in the second minute, when Eriksen's inswinging corner snuck in between Ospina and the near post.

However, the Colombian quickly atoned for his misjudgement with a flying one-handed save to turn away Romelu Lukaku's header and turned Antonio Candreva's drive over the bar.

Ospina also set up the equaliser four minutes before halftime when his raking goal kick set Lorenzo Insigne free down the left and the diminutive winger slipped the ball to Mertens, who slotted it under Samir Handanovic.

Napoli started the second half well but had to withstand some late pressure.

Inter substitute Alexis Sanchez sent a shot flashing past the goal, then Ospina made an outstanding point-blank save to deny Eriksen and Victor Moses fired over from the rebound.

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