Giant Killers! Okereke helps Cremonese end Napoli’s Cup Aspirations

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Cremonese stunned Napoli, knocking out the Serie A leaders out of the Coppa Italia in an enthralling round of 16 game at the Diego Armando Maradona on Tuesday night.

So far this season, Cremonese have one won once in regular time – their last 20 matches across all competitions.

On the day, Nigerian forward David Okereke was crucial to his side’s first goal, when he provided the assist for Charles Pickle’s goal in the 18th minute.

Okereke himself went close, on a few occasions, but he was denied by Napoli defenders and goalkeeper.

Meanwhile, Luciano Spalletti had dropped his top scorer, Victor Osimhen, to the bench.

And so goalscoring duties feel on Giovanni Simeone and defender Juan Jesus who cancelled the deficit and turned the game on its head, but Napoli let the lead slip.

Substitute Felix Afena-Gyan, who had replaced Okereke in the 65th minute, leveled the scores with three minutes of regular time left.

In extra time, there was more drama as the visitors were reduced to 10 men when Leonardo Sernicola was shown a second yellow.

Moments later Osimhen was introduced and the Forward could have won the game for his side, but he failed to execute from two big chances he got.

With the rains pouring down in Naples, the game went into penalties and Napoli’s Stanislav Lobotka missed, for Felix Afena-Gyan to convert the winning goal – after Osimhen gave the hosts some hope.

 

(Photo by Franco Romano/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Cremonese were without Cyriel Dessers in the game, he was not even listed for the match. La Cremo will now face AS Roma in the quarter-final next month.

In the meantime, Davide Ballardini’s side return to the Serie A, still searching for their first win, when they travel to Bologna for a Monday night fixture.

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