Roma's players stand on the pitch at the end of the Italian Cup soccer match between Roma and Spezia, at Rome's Olympic stadium, Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2015. Spezia won 4-2 in penalty shootout to advance to the quarterfinals. (AP)
Serie A title hopefuls Roma were knocked out of the Italian Cup on Wednesday as second division Spezia caused a last 16 upset to advance to the quarter-finals on penalties.
After two periods of extra-time failed to produce goals, Roma midfielder Miralem Pjanic and then striker Edin Dzeko fired over the crossbar as the Serie B visitors took a 2-0 lead from the spot.
Italy midfielder Daniele De Rossi then French left-back Lucas Digne made amends by slotting their spot-kicks past Leandro Chichizola in the Spezia goal.
But it was too little too late as the second division side advanced 4-2 to set up a quarter-final tie with Lega Pro side Alessandria.
Egyptian forward Mohamed Salah, who is yet to find the net after returning from a two-month injury layoff, played the full 120 minutes and almost set up Dzeko for a goal but it was ruled out for offside.
A fortnight after ending Palermo's interest in the competition with a shock 3-2 win in Sicily, Alessandria stopped Genoa's progress on Tuesday thanks to a 113th-minute winner that gave the third division club a 2-1 win over the Serie A strugglers.
Inter Milan progressed to the quarters on Tuesday with a 3-0 home win over Cagliari and will now meet the winner of Napoli v Verona, played on Wednesday when defending champions Juventus host city rivals Torino.
Also on Wednesday, Fiorentina are in action later at home to Carpi while Thursday sees Lazio, last season's beaten finalists, host Udinese and AC Milan visit Sampdoria.
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