Italian Serie A

Simplicio saves Roma, Sicilian derby tie

April 28, 2012
By ESPNsoccernet staff

Roma substitute Fabio Simplicio struck a late equaliser to deny Napoli victory as the sides shared a 2-2 draw the Stadio Olimpico.

Fabio Simplicio
GettyImagesFabio Simplicio has moved to the J-League

• Juan Zuniga's superb equaliser
• Edinson Cavani's fantastic strike

Napoli looked to be heading for their third straight win after Edinson Cavani put them in front for the first time in the 67th minute.

Marquinho had given Roma a 41st-minute lead before Juan Zuniga equalised for the visitors early in the second half. Cavani scored Napoli's second but Simplicio then came to the capital club's rescue and hit the back of the net three minutes from time.

The result has lifted Napoli into the crucial third position in Serie A, level on 55 points with Lazio, who visit Udinese on Sunday. The top three teams in Italy's top flight qualify for the Champions League next season. Roma remain in seventh, with an outside chance of qualifying.

Palermo and Catania had to settle for a share of the spoils with a 1-1 draw in a Sicilian derby at the Stadio Renzo Barbera.

Nicola Legrottaglie put visitors Catania in front in the 25th minute as Vincenzo Montella's side dominated the first half.

Fabrizio Miccoli equalised soon after the break as the Rosaneri enjoyed the better of the second period of a match played in hot and humid conditions.

Catania took a deserved lead when Alejandro Gomez's cross went all the way beyond the far post and appeared to be going out of play, but Pablo Barrientos' dive saw him not only manage to reach the ball, but head it back across goal to Legrottaglie, who nodded in from close range.

Both sides had penalty appeals waved away by the referee as Catania remained in control of the game up until the break half-time.

Palermo levelled early in the second half with Miccoli netting two minutes after the break. His pace and excellent close control got him clear and he shot inside Carrizo's near post, with the Catania goalkeeper getting a weak hand to the ball on its way in.

Chievo's goal drought continued in Serie A this as they were held to a scoreless draw by Cagliari.

The men from Verona failed to find the net for the fourth consecutive game and had to settle for a point at the Nereo Rocco stadium.

Cagliari are playing their home games in Trieste rather than Sardinia because of a dispute with the local council related to the renovations of the Sant' Elia stadium.