* Simplicio earns Roma 2-2 draw
* Sicilian stalemate at Palermo
MILAN, April 28 (Reuters) - Napoli squandered two more
precious points in the race for a Champions League place with a
2-2 draw at AS Roma on Saturday that summed up their topsy-turvy
Serie A season.
Leading 2-1 with two minutes to go, Napoli appeared to be in
complete control against demoralised opponents until Brazilian
substitute Fabio Simplicio struck for the hosts out of the blue.
Simplicio celebrated by climbing several rows in the crowd
to hug his son and he was booked while Napoli's players held
their heads in disbelief having dominated the second half.
Marquinho put Roma ahead shortly before halftime but Juan
Zuniga levelled immediately after the restart and Edinson Cavani
struck his 22nd league goal of the season in a game where all
the goals were scored by South Americans.
Napoli, who are fourth in the table and have three games
left, moved level on 55 points with third-placed Lazio who visit
Udinese on Sunday (1845 GMT).
Juventus and AC Milan have already guaranteed the two
automatic places in next season's Champions League. The team in
third goes through to the qualifying round.
Inter Milan and Udinese, who have 52 points, still have an
outside chance of finishing third.
Elsewhere on Saturday, the Sicilian derby between Palermo
and Catania ended 1-1 while Cagliari and Chievo Verona shared a
Napoli have a small squad and their busy season has varied
between vibrant attacking performances and sloppy defeats.
FIVE IN A ROW
Having won five games in a row in February and March, they
then failed to win the following six.
Napoli's Champions League campaign ended in spectacular
fashion when they squandered a 3-1 first-leg lead against
Chelsea by losing the return match 4-1 in extra time.
They were over-run in the first half on Saturday but then
seized control in the second.
Roma missed an easy first-half chance when Fernando Gago
shot wide from six metres after keeper Morgan De Sanctis spilled
Francesco Totti's swerving low drive.
Totti, in his 20th season at the club, set up the opener in
the 41st minute with an incisive ball to Aleandro Rosi on the
right and his centre was met by Brazilian Marquinho who fired
into the roof of the net.
The game changed dramatically when Zuniga levelled four
minutes after the break, the Colombian collecting the ball 35
metres out and sending a dipping shot into the far corner to
leave keeper Bogdan Lobont stranded.
Roma then caved in and Napoli swept forward to grab their
second goal when one of several counter-attacks ended with
Cavani cutting inside his marker and curling another shot beyond
Lobont in the 67th minute.
With the home fans jeering their team, it seemed a case of
playing out time for Napoli until Simplicio struck.
Catania, who won the previous two Sicilian derbies, took the
lead in the 25th minute at Palermo when the unmarked Nicola
Legrottaglie headed in at the far post after Pablo Barrientos
nodded on an Alejandro Gomez cross.
Palermo levelled 90 seconds into the second half when
Nicolas Bertolo sent Fabrizio Miccoli clear and he found a gap
between keeper Juan Pablo Carrizo and the near post.
The hosts went close to a winner when Uruguayan forward Abel
Hernandez struck the post with an overhead kick 10 minutes from
time following Miccoli's chipped pass.
(Writing by Brian Homewood in Berne, editing by Tony
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