Inter Milan beats Napoli on penalties

Milan, Jan 27 (AP) Inter Milan beat Napoli 5-4 onpenalties Wednesday to join AC Milan in the semifinals of theItalian Cup after its crosstwon rival beat Sampdoria 2-1.

Napoli striker Ezequiel Lavezzi was the only player tomiss in the shootout when he blasted the team''s third kickover the bar, after the match had ended 0-0 after extra time.

Fullback Cristian Chivu then scored the deciding penalty forInter.

"It was a tough game and we really had to work hard,"Inter captain Javier Zanetti said. "When you go to penaltykicks it comes down to luck and tonight we had luck on ourside."

Inter''s Esteban Cambiasso had the best chance of thefirst half, but volleyed Maicon''s cross at Napoli goalkeeperMorgan De Sanctis from close range.

Marek Hamsik went close twice in quick succession nearthe end of regulation. First Luca Castellazzi saved his shot,then Maicon cleared his follow up header off the line.

Inter will meet the winner of the quarterfinal betweenJuventus and AS Roma.

Earlier, Wednesday, Alexandre Pato''s two first-half goalssecured the win for Milan. Stefano Guberti pulled a goal backfor Sampdoria early in the second half, but the Genoa club wasunable to break down Milan''s defense for the equalizer.

"We had a great game, especially in the first half,"Milan defender Massimo Oddo said. "We made chances and tookthem. We knew Sampdoria would come back in the second half,but we managed to hold them out."

Milan will meet Palermo in the semifinals.

Netherlands pair Mark Van Bommel and Urby Emanuelson madestarting debuts for Milan and lasted the full match.

"I think they are two good buys," Oddo said. "They areexperienced and add quality to the squad. It is not easy toplay so soon after arriving and Van Bommel had a differentrole to the one he had at Bayern Munich, but he did very welltonight."

Milan opened the scoring in the 17th minute. Thiago Silvaheaded Robinho''s corner into the path of Pato and theBrazilian hit a low shot past Angelo Da Costa.

Pato then linked up with Emanuelson for his second of thematch. Emanuelson slipped the ball to Pato on the edge of thearea, he rounded Sampdoria defender Pietro Accardi and blastedpast Da Costa.

Guberti scored six minutes into the second half when heheaded in Massimo Maccarone''s cross. (AP) AT

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