Zerbin brace leads Napoli to Italian Supercup final

Substitute Alessio Zerbin needed just five minutes on the pitch to score twice, propelling Napoli to a 3-0 win over Fiorentina in their Italian Supercup semifinal on Thursday.

Zerbin entered the game with less than 10 minutes left on the clock, tapping in a corner at the back post after 84 minutes at full stretch, inadvertently hitting his head on the upright at the same time.

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Returning from treatment, the 24-year-old scored his second two minutes later, taking possession in midfield and going on a run to the edge of the box, where he unleashed an angled drive into the far bottom corner.

"Zerbin has incredible qualities. Unfortunately, people are obsessed with bringing in players from abroad and tend to ignore those who are homegrown," Napoli manager Walter Mazzarri told Mediaset.

"He scored two great goals, but he is young, lacking in maturity in some situations, so we need a little patience. But I am convinced he will have a great future."

Napoli broke the deadlock after 22 minutes when Juan Jesus delivered a perfectly timed pass into the box for Giovanni Simeone to slot in from an acute angle.

Napoli players celebrate after scoring a goal against Fiorentina in the Italian Supercup.
Napoli players celebrate after scoring a goal against Fiorentina in the Italian Supercup.
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Fiorentina forward Jonathan Ikoné won a penalty just before half-time after being fouled by Mário Rui. However, Ikone sent his spot kick well over the bar.

Fiorentina manager Vincenzo Italiano expressed his frustration over another penalty for his side being squandered this season.

"We have to put an end to this 'phobia' of penalties right now, because aside from Nico [Nicolas Gonzalez], we are missing a lot of them and losing games with these misses," Italiano said.

The game took place in a partially-filled Al-Awwal Stadium in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia.

Internazionale and Lazio are set to play on Friday in the other semi-final, with the final scheduled for Monday.