Tunisian debutant Rafia fires Juventus to Italian Cup last 8

Reuters , Thursday 14 Jan 2021

 Hamza Rafia
Juventus' Tunisian midfielder Hamza Rafia (C) celebrates after he scored during the Italian Cup (Coppa Italia) round of sixteen football match Juventus vs Genoa on January 13, 2021 at the Juventus stadium in Turin (AFP)

A much-changed Juventus made hard work of beating Genoa 3-2 in their Copp Italia last-16 match on Wednesday, needing an extra-time winner from 21-year-old debutant Hamza Rafia to see them through.

Serie A champions Juventus made 10 changes from the team that beat Sassuolo at the weekend, but they had no trouble racing into a two-goal lead in Turin against a much-changed Genoa.

Young Swedish forward Dejan Kulusevski opened the scoring after two minutes before then setting up the returning Alvaro Morata to make it 2-0 in the 23rd minute.

However, seemingly in cruise control, Juve took their foot off the gas, with Lennart Czyborra getting Genoa deservedly back in the contest before halftime.

Filippo Melegoni then completed the turnaround in the 74th minute with a fine finish, and Juve, who had to introduce Cristiano Ronaldo, could not find a winner as the match went to extra time.

It was left to Tunisian substitute Rafia to bundle home his first Juventus goal, on his debut, to settle the contest in the 104th minute, booking a quarter-final clash with the winner of the match between Sassuolo and Spal on Thursday.

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