Controversy mars Roma win

2015-01-07 10:06
Davide Astori (Getty Images)

Rome - A controversial goal helped Roma to a 1-0 win at Udinese on Tuesday, highlighting the need for goal-line technology and moving the Giallorossi within one point of Serie A leader Juventus.

Juventus was held to a 1-1 draw at home by Inter Milan, with Mauro Icardi scoring the equalizer following Carlos Tevez's opener for the hosts.

Earlier, a header from Roma defender Davide Astori in the 17th minute hit the underside of the crossbar and bounced down near the goal line.

The goal-line official ruled that the ball did not entirely cross the line but after protests from Roma the referee overruled him, sparking outrage from Udinese.

"If the referee decides on his own then let's remove the goal-line official, because there's a structural error here," Udinese coach Andrea Stramaccioni said.

Replays were inconclusive.

"The goal-line official told me it wasn't a goal but it's the referee who decides and I think he saw it correctly," Astori said.

Roma coach Rudi Garcia is a proponent of introducing goal-line technology.

"With the technology there wouldn't have been any controversy," Garcia said. "It was a goal but if there had been confirmation it would have been better, especially for the referees."

The win put Roma nine points ahead of third-place Lazio ahead of Sunday's Rome derby.

Napoli moved level with Lazio following a 4-1 at Cesena, its third consecutive victory including the win over Juventus in the Italian Super Cup. Gonzalo Higuain scored twice for the visitors, while Jose Callejon and Marek Hamsik also found the net.

Lazio beat Sampdoria 3-0 Monday.

Elsewhere, Sassuolo beat AC Milan 2-1 at the San Siro, leaving the Rossoneri in seventh place, 15 points behind Juventus.

Andrea Poli gave Milan the lead nine minutes in but Sassuolo took control with goals from Nicola Sansone and Italy forward Simone Zaza.

Palermo routed 10-man Cagliari 5-0 to ruin the debut of Gianfranco Zola as the Sardinian club's coach, with Paulo Dybala netting twice to take his total to nine goals this season.

In other matches, Parma beat nine-man Fiorentina 1-0 after Mario Gomez failed to equalize with a penalty kick; Genoa and Atalanta drew 2-2; and Empoli-Hellas Verona and Chievo Verona-Torino each ended 0-0.

At the Stadio Friuli, Roma's 38-year-old captain Francesco Totti set up the goal with a free kick that Astori met in the center of the area.

Udinese protested for a penalty when Urby Emanuelson made contact with Panagiotis Kone inside the area in the 85th but the referee ruled to play on, resulting in more protests from the hosts and a management member on Udinese's bench being sent off.

However, the match will be remembered for the controversy surrounding the goal.

Goal-line technology was used at last year's World Cup but hasn't yet been approved for Serie A. Full instant replay has not been approved yet by FIFA but Italian football federation president Carlo Tavecchio has offered to use it in Serie A next season as an experiment.

"In sports with inferior numbers to football they have the technology. In tennis, for example, there is Hawk-Eye, but we don't have it and we don't understand why. It's absurd," Milan vice president Adriano Galliani said. "I hope something is done for next season."

In Turin, Tevez scored from close range following an excellent setup by Arturo Vidal after five minutes.

Juventus had chances to double its lead but was denied by Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic.

Soon after newly-acquired forward Lukas Podolski came on for Inter, Icardi equalized in the 64th with his ninth goal of the season. Icardi beat defender Leonardo Bonucci to a long pass and placed an angled shot inside the far post, beyond the reach of goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon.

Inter had chances to win it but Icardi sent an effort wide after being set up by Podolski in the 81st following a swift counterattack and then had a long shot blocked by Buffon two minutes later.

Inter finished with 10 men after Mateo Kovacic was sent off in the 86th for a hard tackle on Stephan Lichtsteiner.

"We wasted a few chances to win it," said Icardi, who has scored in each of his four league matches against Juventus.

Inter is 11th in Serie A, 18 points behind Juventus.

Read more on:    ac milan  |  juventus  |  roma  |  serie a  |  soccer

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