Napoli snatched a late
winner against Cesena amid protests that the ball had not
crossed the line to reach the Italian Cup quarter-finals on
Macedonia striker Goran Pandev's 86th-minute free-kick was
palmed away by Cesena goalkeeper Nicola Ravaglia, but the
referee ruled it had crossed the line.
The call was so close that even television replays were
unclear, although Cesena's players had no doubts as they angrily
protested the decision.
Their 2-1 win in the single-leg tie came on the debut of new
signing Eduardo Vargas, a 22-year-old Chilean forward seen as
one of the jewels of South American football.
Relegation-threatened Cesena took a first-half led when
Stefan Adrian Popescu scored from the edge of the area after
poor defending by the hosts.
Vargas, signed after an outstanding year with Universidad de
Chile which included a glut of spectacular goals, struggled to
strike up an understanding with Edinson Cavani and was taken off
at half-time, to be replaced by Pandev.
Napoli equalised in the 65th minute when Pandev's shot was
parried by Ravaglia and Uruguay forward Cavani snapped up the
rebound for his 15th goal of the season in all competitions.
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