Roma vs. Sampdoria, 2014 Coppa Italia: Final Score 1-0, Roma move to next round

Paolo Bruno

It should've been easier for Roma to cruise to victory against Sampdoria, but goalkeeper Vincenzo Fiorillo's brilliance in the first half, combined with a lack of coherence in the second half, meant the giallorossi had to work to progress in the Coppa Italia.

Roma scored early in the first half, but Vincenzo Fiorillo made a series of excellent saves to keep Sampdoria from losing all hope of progressing in the Coppa Italia. But despite a last-minute attempt on goal, the visitors just didn't have it in them to even the scoreline, much less advance to face Juventus.

The opening goal came from a surprising source, Vasilis Torosidis, getting his first goal of the season in a rare appearance for the giallorossi. Dodô sent in a lovely cross from the right, allowing Mattia Destro a close range shot. Fiorillo, filling in for regular keeper Da Costa, managed to deny Destro, but the ball fell to Torosidis's feet and he had no trouble converting.

After the loss to Juve and needing to face Genoa in just a few days, Rudi Garcia rested many of his starters -- but the giallorossi system remained in full flow. With the attack headed by Destro, Adem Ljajic and Alessandro Florenzi, chances came quick and often.

But Fiorillo, in his first start of the season, made a few excellent saves to keep the scoreline respectable. He rescued what surely would've been a debut goal from Radja Nainggolan, but his most impressive moment came near the end of the first half, when he made a double save to deny Florenzi at point-blank range -- keeping out the first attempt with his boot.

Siniša Mihajlović would do well to give the 23 year old a chance to replace the unwaverably average Da Costa. The last time Fiorillo got a start in Serie A was back in 2008-2009, and he rarely was given a start in Serie B with Livorno last season, but he's proved he's capable of stopping some of the best attackers in the league. Why not give him a chance?

By the second half, Roma had faded somewhat. It became clear that the front three weren't clicking, with Florenzi's passes lacking somewhat, and Ljajic trying to do too much when he had ahold of the ball. Gervinho came on to replace Florenzi, with Garcia hoping to put the game out of reach, but in the end one goal was all the hosts could put past Fiorillo.

And now it's on to Juventus. The giallorossi will try to avenge their recent 3-0 loss in the league by knocking the Old Lady out of the Coppa quarterfinals, but they'll have to put forth a better attack should they want to get past the stoic Juve defense.

AS Roma: Skorupski, Dodô (Benatia 90), Castán, Burdisso, Torosidis, De Rossi, Nainggolan (Strootman 69), Taddei, Ljajić, Florenzi (Gervinho 76), Destro

Sampdoria: Fiorillo, Salamon, Rodríguez, Fornasier, Castellini, Bjarnason (Gavazzi 90), Maresca (Gentsoglou 80), Sansone, Wszolek, Obiang, Pozzi (Petagna 60)

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