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Montella 'suffering' in the closing stages of cup clash

By Football News

Fiorentina head coach Vincenzo Montella has revealed how he was "suffering" in the closing stages of his side's Coppa Italia semi-final win.

The Florence outfit booked their place in the final with a 3-2 aggregate victory over Udinese, but came agonisingly close to seeing Tuesday's second leg go to extra time deep into stoppage time.

Goalkeeper Neto made a heroic one-handed save to deny Luis Muriel and Nico Lopez failed to convert the rebound, much to the relief of Montella.

"You suffer more as a coach," he said. "You don’t suffer that much when you are a player, or even not at all, because you have the chance to take part to the game physically.

"I suffered a lot in the last minute of the game, I would hardly have accepted to let Udinese score a goal at the 96th minute of play and from a goalkeeper’s punt.

"We weren’t enough careful there and that was the hardest moment for me."

And the 39-year-old to quick to praise his goalkeeper's display late on.

"I saw great qualities in Neto," he added. "Obviously he still needs to grow and improve as a goalkeeper, but luckily for him and for Fiorentina there’s still a lot he can give.

"Sometimes life gives you immense joys, like it happened to Neto tonight, making him the star of the night in such a special night for Fiorentina and for us all, and he well deserved that."

Fiorentina now face a final against either Roma or Napoli, who meet on Wednesday, with the men from the capital holding a 3-2 advantage from the first leg.