Juventus 3-2 Genoa (AET): Debutant Hamza Rafia comes to the rescue after Andrea Pirlo’s side had blown early two-goal lead to reach Coppa Italia quarter-finals
- Juventus needed extra time to get past Genoa on Wednesday night
- Youngster Hamza Rafia was the unlikely hero for Andrea Pirlo’s men
- Understrength Juve side had marched into an early two-goal lead
- Filippo Melegoni’s equaliser with 15 minutes left forced extra time
Serie A champions Juventus made 10 changes from the team that beat Sassuolo at the weekend, but they had no trouble racing into a two-goal lead in Turin against a much-changed Genoa.
Young Swedish forward Dejan Kulusevski opened the scoring after two minutes before then setting up the returning Alvaro Morata to make it 2-0 in the 23rd minute.
However, seemingly in cruise control, Juve took their foot off the gas, with Lennart Czyborra getting Genoa deservedly back in the contest before half-time.
Juventus players gather around goalscorer Hamza Rafia (No 50) in celebration
Rafia spared Juventus’ blushes after they had been pegged back by Genoa in the last-16 tie
JUVENTUS: Buffon; Dragusin, Demiral (Danilo 64), Chiellini (Bonucci 64), Bernardeschi; Wesley (Ronaldo 88), Arthur, Bentancur (Rabiot 46), Portanova (Rafia 78); Morata, Kulusevski
Goalscorers: Kulusevski 2, Morata 23, Rafia 104
GENOA: Paleari; Goldaniga, Bani, Dumbravanu (Males 97); Ghiglione, Lerager, Rovella, Melegoni (Radovanovic 106), Czyborra (Eboa Ebongue 112); Pjaca, Scamacca
Goalscorers: Czyborra 28, Melegoni 74
Filippo Melegoni then completed the turnaround in the 74th minute with a fine finish, and Juve, who had to introduce Cristiano Ronaldo, could not find a winner as the match went to extra time.
It was left to substitute Rafia to bundle home his first Juventus goal, on his debut, to settle the contest in the 104th minute.
They now look forward to a quarter-final clash with the winner of the match between Sassuolo and Spal on Thursday.
Dejan Kuluseveski celebrates after firing Juventus ahead against Genoa on Wednesday
Alvaro Morata doubled the hosts’ lead in just the 23rd minute of the Coppa Italia clash
Genoa hit back and equalised through Filippo Melegoni with a quarter-of-an-hour to play
Andrea Pirlo (left) rang the changes with Cristiano Ronaldo (right) starting on the bench
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