Samp battle back to beat SPAL thanks to goals from Defrel and Kownacki
Sampdoria are through to the last 16 of the Coppa Italia after a 2-1 win over SPAL at Marassi on Tuesday night.
Marco Giampaolo made several changes for the cup clash, handing competitive debuts to Rafael and Ferrari, while Colley returned in central defence and Sala took up a position on the left. Vieira continued in the heart of the midfield, flanked by Praet and Jankto. Saponara began in the hole, behind Defrel and Kownacki.
Saponara was the first to threaten, firing a powerful effort goalwards on seven minutes, only for Cionek to block on the line. Doria kept the pressure up and had several further chances to score in the early stages, with Saponara heading off target from a Bereszynski cross on 12 minutes, Jankto misjudging the final ball two minutes later and Kownacki firing just wide on the 17-minute mark.
Dickmann provided Samp with a reminder of the SPAL threat on 26 minutes, but Samp quickly regained control and came close to taking the lead after some nice link-up play between Defrel and Kownacki ended in a decent effort from the latter. Yet as is so often the case, Doria were left ruing these misses as Floccari shot home with aplomb to give SPAL a 1-0 lead 11 minutes before half time.
It almost got worst for Samp before the break, with Rafael called into action to stop a shot from Paloschi, but thankfully for Giampaolo and his side Defrel popped up in first-half stoppage time to convert from a Jankto assist for 1-1.
Doria started on the front foot after the interval, as Saponara grazed the post on 52 minutes and Kownacki saw his shot cannon off Milinkovic’s foot ten minutes later. The best chance to give Samp the lead fell to Jankto on 66 minutes: latching onto an inch-perfect through ball from Saponara, the midfielder nipped past the SPAL keeper but contrived to fire wide with the goal gaping.
With time ticking down, Giampaolo sent on Rolando for a first-team debut. The Blucerchiati continued to push, and eventually they got their reward. Saponara was again involved, this time teeing up Kownacki who made no mistake to make it 2-1.
The final whistle came soon afterwards – now Samp will turn their attention to AC Milan in the next round in January.
Sampdoria 2-1 SPAL (HT: 1-1)
Scorers: Floccari 34, Defrel 45+1, Kownacki 82.
Sampdoria (4-3-1-2): Rafael; Bereszynski (Rolando 71), Ferrari, Colley, Sala; Praet, Vieira (Linetty 84), Jankto; Saponara (Caprari 89); Defrel, Kownacki.
Subs not used: Belec, Andersen, Ekdal, Ramirez, Leverbe, Tavares, Quagliarella.
SPAL (4-4-2): Milinkovic; Cionek, Djourou, Bonifazi, F. Costa; Dickmann, Valoti (Kurtic 71), Valdifiori (Viviani 87), Everton Luiz; Floccari (Moncini 78), Paloschi.
Subs not used: Gomis, Poluzzi, Antenucci, Vicari, Felipe, Petagna, Nikolic, Fares.
Referee: Di Paolo.
Assistants: Raspollini, Scarpa.
Fourth official: Piscopo.
Yellow cards: Cionek 56.
Added time: 1 + 5 mins.