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Lazio rallies to down Juve in Italian Cup

GORAN Pandev and Tommaso Rocchi scored as Lazio rallied to beat Juventus 2-1 in the first leg of the Italian Cup semifinals on Tuesday.

Marco Marchionni scored for Juventus in the 34th minute from the edge of the area, Pandev equalized in the 65th and Rocchi gave Lazio the lead in the 78th.

Pandev took a rebound and spun around before finding the target from the center of the area, while Rocchi beat defender Giorgio Chiellini to a ball inside the area and shot under goalkeeper Alexander Manninger.

Juventus forward Vincenzo Iaquinta had a goal annulled for a questionable offside call in the 18th and Manninger made a leaping save on a freekick from Cristian Ledesma in the 39th. Juventus captain Alessandro Del Piero and goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon sat out.

Lazio forward Mauro Zarate, who scored twice in a 2-0 win over Bologna on Saturday, was suspended.

In Germany, second-division Mainz got a goal from Aristide Bance in the 88th minute to beat Schalke 1-0 and reach the semifinals of the German Cup for the first time. Bance sneaked behind Schalke's defense to meet a long freekick and slotted the ball home unopposed from close range.

Mainz, the second-placed team in the second division, sent Schalke deeper into troubled water. Fred Routen's team was third last season in the Bundesliga but has been unable to challenge for the title and was stuck in eighth place.

Tuesday's loss meant Schalke was out of the running for any title.

"Schalke defended very well but we fought until the end," Mainz coach Joern Andersen said.

Schalke defender Mladen Krstajic hit the post with a header off a corner for the visiting team's best chance in the first half.

"It was a really dumb goal to concede," Schalke manager Andreas Mueller said. "We are shocked. The disappointment is great."


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