Roma edge Catania in first-leg Italian Cup semifinal

Other News Materials 16 April 2008 23:31 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa ) - Roma won 1-0 over Catania Wednesday in a first-leg semifinal of the Italian Cup played at Rome's Stadio Olimpico.

A drive from an in-form Francesco Totti secured the win for Roma as they seek to retain the trophy by securing a fourth straight final.

The other candidates for the final set for May 24 in Rome are Inter Milan and Lazio, who play their first-leg game later Wednesday in Milan.

Inter played the last three finals against Roma, winning two and losing the 2007 edition.

Roma lacked their usual speed at the Stadio Olimpico and allowed the Sicily guests to run minor risks and try a couple of counter attacks in the first half.

Frenchman Ludovic Giuly aimed a first shot on 25 minutes, but failed to threaten Ciro Polito with his feeble shot. The Catania goalkeeper had a harder task on 39 minutes when he denied a drive from Brazilian Cicinho off a Totti assist.

Captain Totti missed three free kicks in the first half, but was deadly with one of his trademark drives right after the break.

Catania paid dearly for allowing him the space to fire from outside the area and stun Polito, drilling his smashing shot under the bar.

A chance to double up went begging on 54 minutes as Totti set up Brazilian Mancini, who tried to stun Polito with a lob that the custodian managed to slap and block.

Giuly fired wide before Totti threatened again on 70 minutes splitting the defence and firing into the arms of a careful Polito.

The return match is set for May 7.