Napoli pip Juventus 8-7 (2-2 after extra time) on penalties to win SuperCoppa Italiana
Napoli won the Supercoppa Italiana for the second time in their history after overcoming Juventus 6-5 in a thrilling penalty shootout in Doha on Monday night. The game had earlier finished 2-2 after 120 minutes with Argentine strikers Carlos Tevez (5’, 106’) and Gonzalo Higuain (68’, 119’) scoring a brace apiece to match each other.
Juventus took the lead, Napoli dominated the match
Juventus took the lead quite early; a terrible defensive mix-up between Koulibaly and Albiol saw Tevez race through on goal and he made no mistake to score the opener. Rafa Benitez’s Napoli suffered a jolt, but they recovered well to dominate proceedings for most of the match thereafter.
The Partenopei hit the post twice, once through captain Marek Hamsik and then from a Higuain lob. Both came after periods of good Napoli play. Spanish attacker Jose Callejon also went close for them, with a shot that beat Juventus keeper Gianluigi Buffon but went agonisingly wide of the far post. At the other end, Napoli custodian Rafael Cabral was in good form as he repeatedly denied Tevez a second goal.
Napoli’s dominance finally bore fruit midway through the second half when Higuain met a great cross from Jonathan de Guzman with a header past Buffon to deservedly bring his side level. The score then stayed level till the end of 90 minutes and the game moved into extra-time.
It was Juventus who looked the better side in the opening minutes of extra time as a pep talk from Massimiliano Allegri seemed to have reinvigorated the Bianconeri. Roberto Pereyra, Fernando Llorente, Paul Pogba and Tevez all had good chances to give them the lead. A goal seemed imminent and it duly came a minute after the start of the second period.
Pogba produced a moment of magic to set up Tevez, who did brilliantly to turn and send a low shot past Rafael. Booming chants of ‘FORZA JUVE!’ soon filled the stadium as Juventus seemed headed for a third straight Super Cup triumph. Or so it seemed until the 119th minute, when out of nowhere, Higuain poked the ball past Buffon to take the game to penalties.
Watch the goals here:
Juventus 1-0 Napoli (Carlos Tevez, 5’)
Juventus 1-1 Napoli (Gonzalo Higuain, 68’)
Juventus 2-1 Napoli (Carlos Tevez, 105’)
Juventus 2-2 Napoli (Gonzalo Higuan, 118’)
Juventus lost despite Buffon’s brilliance in the penalty shoot-out
In the shootout, Buffon saved the first kick from Jorginho after which Tevez hit the post with his effort. Both teams then matched each other right until sudden death when two brilliant saves from Buffon twice gave Juve the chance to win the cup, but on both occasions, Chiellini and Pereyra fluffed their lines.
It would come to haunt them as Koulibaly then scored for Napoli leaving substitute Simone Padoin needing to score to keep Juventus in the game. He sent a shot to the right of Rafael and the Brazilian keeper guessed right to dive and keep it out, giving victory to the Neapolitans.
This was the Partenopei’s first win in the competition since 1990, when they thrashed Juventus 5-1, under a certain Diego Maradona.
Watch the entire penalty shoot-out here: