David Okereke bags assist, Cremonese knock Victor Osimhen’s Napoli out of Copa Italia

By Oyediji Oluwaseun Babatunde

Nigeria forward, David Okereke had an assist as his Italian side, Cremonese knocked Napoli out of the Copa Italia following a 4-3 win on penalties.

The encounter ended 2-2 after extra time taking the game into deciding the lottery of penalties.

Okereke in the 18th minute displayed great vision to send a pass to Charles Pickel who showed brilliant composure inside the box and buried the ball from close range into the back of the net.

Napoli equalised in the 33rd minute when Juan Jesus scored with a perfect header from inside the box after a goal-mouth scramble.

Three minutes later, Napoli took the lead for the first time in the game.

Alessio Zerbin was the provider and Giovanni Simeone was the executioner, dispatching the cross into the right of the goal from close range with his head.

When the game was destined for a win in favour of Napoli, Cremonese had a last surge in the 87th minute.

Luca Zanimacchia played a hopeful cross into a crowded box. Felix Afena-Gyan timed his jump and sends a header inside the right post from close range to take the game into extra time.

Cremonese in the 100th minute were reduced to ten players. Leonardo Sernicola made a bad challenge and received a second yellow card from referee Maria Ferrieri Caputi.

With both sides not separated after 120 minutes, penalties were imminent.

Stanislav Lobotka failed to convert his spot kick for Napli as his shot went wide off the left post.

Cremonese earned a 4-3 win on penalties to progress to the next round of Copa Italia after Afena-Gyan converted the deciding penalty kick.

Okereke was replaced by Afena-Gyan in the 65th minute after providing an assist for the opening goal. He has scored three goals in 18 Italian Serie A games this season. 

In the Copa Italia, Okereke has scored two goals with an assist in three games.

Victor Osimhen replaced Tanguy Ndombele in the 102nd minute converting Napoli’s fifth penalty during the shoot-out. He had scored 12 goals with three assists after 14 league games this season. 

In the UEFA Champions League, he scored a goal in three games. Serie A leaders, Napoli will next face Salernitana on January 21 while bottom-placed Cremonese will visit Bologna on January 23.

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