Padraig Whelan Date: 19th December 2017 at 10:54pm
Written by:

Napoli booked their place in the quarter-final of the Coppa Italia thanks to a lone second half strike from Lorenzo Insigne against Udinese at the Stadio San Paolo.

Maurizio Sarri opted for a relatively makeshift side for the occasion, albeit one which included enough defensive strength and firepower to get the job done.

However, Udinese held firm for the first quarter of proceedings, with Simone Scuffet only truly tested for the first time after 25 minutes from a Jose Callejon strike.

Shortly afterwards, the goalkeeper was beaten by an Adam Ounas strike, which fortunately for the Zebrette goalkeeper came back off the post as the sides left the field at the interval locked level.

With Udinese reluctant to risk much after the half-time break, Napoli were stifled for much of the contest, as both Piotr Zielinski and Ounas fired frustrated efforts off the target.

Rarely was Luigi Sepe in the home goal threatened, with Ryder Matos first to draw a save out of him after the hour mark and they were made to pay for not taking advantage of that opportunity on 71 minutes.

Collecting a pass on the left side of the penalty area from Dries Mertens, the Italy international kept a calm head under pressure to fire across Scuffet and into the far corner to send his side through.

The Partenopei now face a quarter-final tie against either Atalanta or Sassuolo in the new year.