MILAN (Reuters) - Gonzalo Higuain pounced in stoppage time to give holders Napoli a 1-0 win over Inter Milan in their Coppa Italia quarter-final on Wednesday, adding to the misery for Roberto Mancini’s team.
Mancini’s Inter have dropped to 13th in Serie A after losing their last two games and had been hoping that the Cup would bring a change of fortune.
But, with only seconds remaining, a quickly taken throw-in caught Inter defender Andrea Ranocchia off his guard and Higuain got away to side-foot the ball past fellow Argentine Juan Pablo Carrizo into the far corner.
The finish left Mancini, who returned for a second stint at the club in November, completely exasperated.
“We just keep giving away goals, all the time,” he told reporters.
”We played well, but then we did something silly, we are too weak. To concede goals like that one is absurd, it’s shocking.
”It was over, there were 30 seconds left,“ he added. ”It was a fine performance until then, but you have to score goals and not concede them.
“I can’t remember the last time I lost three matches in a row, it was probably 10 years ago.”
However, Mancini did not single out Ranocchia for criticism.
“Higuain is a player who is too experienced, too cunning,” he said
Higuain missed two early chances for Napoli before Inter forward Mauro Icardi struck the bar in a lively opening.
Carrizo also made good saves from Higuain and Marek Hamsik, before Inter enjoyed a let-off when Kalidou Koulibaly volleyed wide from close range.
The game looked to be heading for extra-time until Higuain’s goal which came out of the blue to earn Napoli a two-legged semi-final against Lazio.
Writing by Brian Homewood in Berne, editing by Ed Osmond and Toby Davis