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February 4, 2014
• Stadio Communale Friuli, Udine
Referee: C. Russo
• Attendance: 7000
A. Di Natale 36'
L. Muriel 82'
J. Vargas 44'
That is it from me, Tom Webber, for this evening. Enjoy the rest of your night.
FULL TIME - Udinese 2-1 Fiorentina: Muriel came on from the bench to net the winner after Vargas' stunning effort had cancelled out Di Natale's impressive opener. It gives the Zebrette a narrow lead ahead of next week's return leg in Tuscany, but the Viola still have what could be a crucial away goal under their belt.
90' + 4'
The referee blows his whistle for full time! Udinese take a 2-1 lead into the second leg.
90' + 3'
Yellow Card Muriel
90' + 2'
Good work from Muriel there, carrying the ball down into the opposition half and winning a throw in for his team. Fiorentina need to get the ball back up the other end as quickly as possible here.
Pizarro flights in a free kick from deep and Diakite meets it inside the box but he fails to steer his effort on target. The fourth official signals for three minutes of added time.
This a good spell for the Viola late on with a series of corners enabling them to pen Udinese in their own box. Fernandez whips the latest one in and it comes straight back to him, however he fails to pick out a team-mate with his second attempt, instead giving away a goal kick.
Important block from Widmer! The right-back got a vital foot to the ball to stop Vargas' latest effort from worrying the keeper.
That could be a vitally important goal for Udinese as away goals do count at this semi-final stage. This result will be far more pleasing for Guidolin, while a sodden Montella looks on in frustration.
Assist Bruno Fernandes
GOOOOOOAL!! MURIEL! What a strike from the young striker, moving the ball out from under his feet before thumping a low shot from 20 yards in off the post with Neto stranded. The Colombian had moments ago seen a chance slip through his fingertips, but he made up for it in tremendous fashion there.
WELL OVER!! Vargas may be guilty of having let the quality of his earlier goal go to his head as he attempts an outrageous volley from the resultant corner. He catches it poorly and sends his attempt miles over the top.
A tasty, lofted cross from Pasqual on the left is not met by a purple shirt at the back post and instead Gabriel Silva nods it behind for a corner.
The whistles are increasing in decibels from the home fans as the Viola continue to hold onto possession. Udinese are restricting themselves to playing on the counterattack in these late stages.
Attention Manchester United fans! Anderson has come on for Valero, though you may not have recognised him with "Andow" on the back of his shirt. What's all that about?!
WHAT A CHANCE!! Fernandez whips a sublime delivery in from a free kick out on the right and Savic runs across his marker to reach it at the near post. It is just too far away from him to connect and Scuffet embraces the ball as it bounces towards him.
Fiorentina are beginning to reassert themselves her now, with Udinese being forced to defend yet again. However, Matri is looking particularly isolated and he has struggled to influence proceedings since the restart.
Either one of these sides could score a winner here, though it could just as easily end in a draw. Fiorentina would be the happier of the two sides with such a result as they host the second leg in seven days time.
Former Udinese player Juan Cuadrado comes on to replace Joaquin, receiving a number of whistles from the home fans.
Matri is released down the left but his touch lets him down as he runs the ball straight out of play for a throw. He had next to no support then, though, so even if he had kept it in play it would have been a big ask to then build something from it.
MURIEL!! Almost the perfect impact for the Colombian, but it was all Widmer's work to create that chance. The Swiss made a darting run to the byeline before cutting the ball back, but unfortunately his team-mate fired well over the bar. Rodriguez should have got tighter to him there.
VARGAS!! SO CLOSE! The Peruvian gets his head to Joaquin's deep cross, leaping over Widmer, but can only send his effort into the side netting.
JUST WIDE! Almost a lovely goal from Matri as he brings a high ball down inside the box with his chest and spins, striking it on the bounce and aiming for the bottom corner. Scuffet leaps to his left but can breathe a sigh of relief as the shot arrows outside of the post.
That is a lovely ball from Valero, bending a left-footed delivery over to Joaquin at the back post. The Spaniard goes for a first-time volley but he sends it straight into Gabriel Silva and the deflection takes it out for a corner.
Valero tees up Vargas from the free kick and his shot skids off the greasy surface, zipping towards Scuffet. The keeper struggles to keep hold of it but manages to keep it in a close proximity in order to bring it under his control.
The Viola are beginning to monopolise the ball again, knocking it about well and penning Udinese back in their own half. Diakite makes a maraudering run inside from the right and is clipped by Allan. Fiorentina have a free kick 30 yards from goal.
With Di Natale off the pitch Udinese look far more blunt in the final third. Lopez is drifting across the pitch in order to get involved in the game but it is leaving his side without a focal point in the middle.
Pizarro spots Joaquin as the man over on the right and slips a pass out to the Spaniard. He tricks his way past Gabriel Silva and thumps a low shot towards the near post, but Scuffet has his angles covered and diverts it wide of the target.
It has been a rather bitty start to the second half with a number of niggling challenges going in in all areas of the pitch. Lopez pulls out to the right and spins Valero well before putting a good cross into the box, however, with him on the right no one is in the middle to get on the end of his delivery.
Yellow Card Juan Vargas
Vargas is the next to put in a clumsy challenge as he fells Fernandes outside the Udinese box. The contact was minimal and the Portuguese certainly went to ground easily, but the referee brandishes his yellow card to the Peruvian.
Pinzi puts in a needless foul on Fernandez just outside the Fiorentina box, bringing a decent spell of Udinese pressure to an end. He got all over the back of the Chilean there and he really did not need to.
Nice shimmy from Matri there to beat Domizzi but he lacks the pace to stay in control of possession as Heurtaux comes across and hoofs the ball out for a throw in.
OVER THE TOP! That is a positive start from the Viola. Valero swings a low cross into Matri from the corner of the box and the striker gets across Domizzi to meet it. He swings his left boot at it but fails to keep the effort down.
Antonio Di Natale
We are back underway for the second half. One change for the hosts as Di Natale is replaced by Bruno Fernandes.
Welcome back! The teams have re-emerged from the tunnel so the second half will be upon us momentarily.
HALF TIME - Udinese 1-1 Fiorentina: In a rather open game, Di Natale gave the hosts the lead but they quickly became complacent and a stunning goal from Vargas restored parity on the stroke of half time. Di Natale felt he was fouled in the build-up to the Viola equaliser, and earned a booking for his protests. Let's hope for even more excitement in the second half.
45' + 1'
The referee blows his whistle to bring the first half to a close.
Yellow Card Antonio Di Natale
One minute of added time to be played.
Assist Manuel Pasqual
Goal Juan Vargas
GOOOOOOAL!! SCORCHER FROM VARGAS! The Peruvian slams an absolutely sensational shot from 30 yards over Scuffet and in off the crossbar to pull Fiorentina level. That is much more like it from the winger, that was an absolute rocket.
The Viola have been controlling possession since going behind. They clearly don't want to go into half time behind as they are pushing plenty of number up the pitch.
SAVE BY SCUFFET! Brilliant save from the youngster as he races off his line to smother Matri's poked effort from inside the box. It was a powerful effort and the keeper took it in his face, but every save counts!
Fiorentina really need to try and test Scuffet more as the 17-year-old has had a rather quiet game so far.
Yellow Card Borja Valero
PENALTY CLAIM FOR THE VIOLA! Matri produces a clever flick from Diakite's cross which strikes the elbow of Domizzi. He didn't have much time to get out the way of it but the Fiorentina players are incensed that the referee does not point to the spot. Moments earlier Scuffet had made a hash of catching a cross into the box. Nervy moments for Udinese after going ahead.
Assist Silvan Widmer
Goal Antonio Di Natale
GOOOOOOOAAL! UDINESE LEAD! A superb counterattack from the hosts as Pereyra carries the ball into the opposition half and slides a lovely pass behind the defence for Widmer. The Swiss spotted Di Natale in the centre and squared the ball for him to slide in a simple finish at the back post.
That could have been lovely! Lopez drifted out to the left and stood a lovely cross up at the back post. Di Natale was there to meet it on the volley but he skewed his shot into Diakite's chest.
WILD JOAQUIN! The Spaniard pounces on a slip by Bubnjic and drives towards goal. He skips from right to left but ends up releasing a horrendous left-footed attempt well off target.
GOOD SAVE! Some lovely build-up play from Udinese culminates in Di Natale teeing up Pinzi for a shot at goal from 20 yards. His low effort looks to be heading for the bottom corner but Neto gets a strong hand to the ball. Pereyra follows up from the loose ball but his side-footed effort hits the side netting.
With just over half an hour played now, it is surprising that Montella's men have not tried harder to whip some crosses in from the wide areas to test the inexperienced Udinese goalkeeper. Diakite gives swinging the ball in from the right a go, but his cross evades the head of Vargas.
That is lovely football from Valero, dancing his way into the area and holding off challenges from all angles. He failed to provide an end product to match though, slamming his shot into the nearest Zebrette shirt.
Udinese are putting Fiorentina under quite a bit of pressure currently but they are don't seem to be able ot penetrate the opposition. Some nice interplay between Allan and Lopez fails to materialise into anything as Rodriguez blocks the Brazilian's route into the area. The Viola now playing more on the counterattack.
Gabriel Silva is practically playing as a winger when Udinese have the ball in the Fiorentina half. He sends possession into the centre of the box but he can only find Neto in the Viola goal.
CLOSE FROM VARGAS!! The Peruvian is teed up by Fernandez after his fellow South American danced his way into the area, but his effort drifts wide of the far post without testing Scuffet. You'd expect better from the winger there as he certainly knows how to shoot.
Heurtaux provides an attacking injection with a one-two with Widmer out on the right. He then slips the ball inside to Nico Lopez and the Uruguayan's shot takes a nick off of Di Natale before going wide. That touch from the veteran was from an offside position, so Fiorentina have a free kick.
NETO! The keeper is forced to make a diving save at his near post as Gabriel Silva's cross is deflected goalwards following a deflection off of Diakite. The Udinese left-back had almost given up on that as he slowed down, expecting the offside flag to be raised!
Vargas whips in his first delivery of the night from out on the left but Domizzi rises high to head it out of the danger area. That is the Peruvian's first positive contribution of the night.
The Viola have won just two of their last five matches in all competitions. Udinese, meanwhile, have only managed the same amount of victories in their previous 11 outings. The two sides not really enjoying the best of form currently then, but there have been signs of promise this evening.
Allan plays another lovely diagonal ball out to Widmer and the Swiss cuts inside of Pasqual. He attempts to shoot with his next touch but Savic helps close him down and along with his Italian team-mate they block the effort on goal.
After that bright start the game has become a little bit disjointed in the last few moments. There have been a few too many erroneous passes, but it was a poorly-timed run that saw Di Natale caught offside on the latest occasion.
Pizarro spots the run of Joaquin in behind Gabriel Silva and he attempts to pick him out with a diagonal ball over the top of the defence. He puts too much on it and it goes out for a goal kick, but the Spanish winger applauds the vision of his team-mate.
WELL OVER! Fernandez is teed up by Valero and he opts to go for goal from in excess of 25 yards out. His attempt is wild, flying high over the bar and probably a little wide too!
Gabriel Silva races forward down the left for the first time this evening and he digs out a decent cross from the byeline. He puts it too close to Neto, though, and the Brazilian keeper comes off his line and claims the ball mid-flight.
Allan looks to be acting as the lynchpin in the Udinese midfield tonight and he has already sprayed some lovely passes across the field. He is clearly keen to pick the ball off of the defence and orchestrate things from deep for his side.
Widmer picks out Di Natale at the top of the box with a low ball in from the right and the veteran striker fires a first-time shot at goal. He puts plenty of power on it but Rodriguez gets his body in the way to block the effort from testing Neto. This an exciting, open start to proceedings.
Scuffet is called upon for the first time this evening and he does well to parry Joaquin's skidding cross out of the danger area. The Viola are putting their opponents under a lot of pressure in these opening moments.
That is much better from Matri! The striker dropped off the front and held up the ball well before sliding a neat backheel into the path of the overlapping Valero. The Spaniard looks to clip a shot into the far corner but it drops wide of the target.
Fiorentina are passing the ball about well in these early exchanges, with a number of quick, succinct passes forcing Udinese back. Matri tries to up the tempo during a give-and-go with Vargas but his return pass is poor and goes straight to a Zebrette shirt.
We are underway! Udinese get the ball rolling.
The teams are out on the pitch and the game will get going in a matter of moments.
Just under five minutes to go until kick off and the rain is still falling. Still, an impressive turnout in Udine.
The Viola may be considered slight favourites for this evening, but Udinese have already earned themselves a couple of scalps in the two previous rounds of the tournament. The Zebrette have overcome both Inter and AC Milan to reach the semi-final, while Fiorentina have had a far easier passage with Chievo and Siena their previously defeated opponents.
Vincenzo Montella has somewhat of an injury crisis on his hands with Alberto Aquilani, Nenad Tomovic, Massimo Ambrosini, Ante Rebic, Giuseppe Rossi all unfit for selection. Mario Gomez is close to a return but he has not been called upon for this evening. There is, however, a debut for Modibo Diakite.
For the hosts, Anotonio Di Natale and Nico Lopez, both of whom found the net against Bologna at the weekend, begin in attack. Seventeen-year-old goalkeeper Simone Scuffet made his debut in that 2-0 win on Saturday, and he holds onto his place between the sticks this evening.
Fiorentina (4-3-3): Neto; Diakite, Rodriguez, Savic, Pasqual; Borja Valero, Pizarro, Fernandez; Joaquin, Matri, Vargas.
Udinese (3-5-2): Scuffet; Bubnjic, Domizzi, Heurtaux; Widmer, Allan, Pinzi, Pereyra, Gabriel Silva; Di Natale, Nico Lopez.
The teams have been announced so lets see how the two sides will be shaping up this evening.
Tonight's hosts will be hoping for a good performance tonight as they look to lift the Coppa Italia for the first time in their history, as their only previous outing in the final ended in defeat. Fiorentina, meanwhile, are six-time winners, going all the way most recently in 2001.
Hello and welcome to tonight's LIVE play-by-play commentary on the Coppa Italia semi-final first leg between Udinese and Fiorentina. The rain has been falling heavily over Stadio Friuli today, but a cover has been laid over the pitch to ensure that the surface is playable tonight. Which is good news for myself, Tom Webber, as it means I have the pleasure of guiding through the action tonight.
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