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Inter, Alessandria through to Italian Cup quarterfinals

December 15, 2015

MILAN (AP) — League leader Inter Milan eased through to the Italian Cup quarterfinals by beating Cagliari 3-0, while third-division Alessandria also advanced after upsetting Genoa 2-1 on Tuesday.

Rodrigo Palacio, Marcelo Brozovic, and Ivan Perisic scored at San Siro to set up a quarterfinal against Napoli or Hellas Verona.

Alessandria, which beat another top-flight side — Palermo — in the previous round, will face either Roma or Spezia after becoming the first third-division side to reach the last eight in 32 years. It is the furthest Alessandria has been since losing the 1936 final.

Alessandria had to play the final 15 minutes and all of extra time with 10 men after Gianni Manfrin went off injured when all the substitutions were completed.

Genoa fan Manuel Marras scored the opener as well as setting up Riccardo Bocalon’s 114th-minute winner.

“I have been a Genoa fan since birth, my father is Genoese, I played for Genoa (youth team),” Marras said. “But I celebrated because after a goal you have to celebrate, now I’m with Alessandria, but I’ll always carry Genoa in my heart.

“With grit, sacrifice, and team spirit you can play anyone anywhere. The coach (Angelo Gregucci) is instilling in us a winning mentality, he has united the group, and we owe a great part of this to him.”

Leonardo Pavoletti headed in Diego Perotti’s free kick in stoppage time to force extra time.

In Milan, Inter took the lead in the first half when Palacio turned a deflected Juan Jesus cross into an empty net.

Cagliari could have equalized early in the second half as Fabio Pisacane’s glancing header crashed off the base of the left post.

Brozovic all but sealed the match with 20 minutes to go with a stunning strike from outside the area into the far corner, giving young goalkeeper Alessio Cragno no chance.

The midfielder was instrumental in the third goal, too, with an effort that came off the right post, and the rebound was turned in by his Croatia teammate Perisic.

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