AS Roma beat Inter Milan to lift Italian Cup

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> AS Roma won the Italian Cup for the first time in 16 years 7-4 on aggregate despite losing to two-time defending champion Inter Milan 2-1 on Thursday.

Updated: May 21, 2007 14:19 IST
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AS Roma won the Italian Cup for the first time in 16 years 7-4 on aggregate despite losing to two-time defending champion Inter Milan 2-1 on Thursday in the second leg of the final.

Inter strikers Hernan Crespo and Julio Ricardo Cruz scored second-half goals, while Simone Perrotta scored for Roma in the 83rd minute.

Crespo headed in Maicon's cross in the 50th, while Cruz slotted Luis Figo's pass through the legs of Roma goalkeeper Alexander Doni six minutes later.

"We were used to seeing Inter always winning and it was right that we also lifted this important trophy," Roma captain Francesco Totti said. "This will not be the last trophy but the first of many because it has given us belief."

Roma's last trophy was the Italian Supercup in 2001.

Totti supplied the assist for Perrotta's goal, and almost scored himself, hitting the crossbar in the 90th.

"I hadn't won anything before," Roma coach Luciano Spalletti said. "I've been a coach for some years. Now, I too can put a winner's medal in the cabinet. I told (Inter coach Roberto) Mancini that if I didn't win, I would make him lend me one of his."

Mancini has won the Italian Cup 10 times, six as a player and four as a coach.

"The guys must take the credit," Spalletti said. "The team has made a notable step forward this season."

Roma finished second behind Inter in the Serie A for the second straight year.

Inter was denied two penalty claims, the most clear-cut in the ninth, when midfielder Dejan Stankovic was tripped in the area, four minutes after hitting the crossbar.

"We were extraordinary and unfortunate," Mancini said. "We should have had a penalty for the foul on Stankovic. Then (Ivan) Cordoba's sending off closed the game."

Inter claimed another penalty when Maicon was tackled by Roma midfielder Alberto Aquilani in the 45th and Cruz had a goal disallowed for offsides in first half injury time. Cordoba was sent off in the 72nd for a second yellow card.

"That said, Roma had secured the victory with the 6-2 in the first leg," said Mancini, who was expelled from the sidelines himself in the 60th for complaining to the referee.

Roma defender Christian Panucci was also dismissed seconds before the end for a foul on Alvaro Recoba.

Inter defender Marco Materazzi missed the game due to accumulated cautions, while Aquilani replaced the injured David Pizarro in Roma's lineup.

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