It’s taken a very, very long time, but Fiorentina Primavera won the Coppa Italia last night with a 0-1 win over Hellas Verona at Sassuolo’s (empty) Mapei Stadium. It was a second consecutive Coppa-winning campaign for the Viola and marks the first silverware of the Rocco Commisso era, which has the club owner pretty excited.
The Coppa Italia Primavera began for Fiorentina back in December, when the U19s dispatched Genoa 3-1 in extra time after dropping into the round of 16 on the basis of their hoisting the Coppa last year. They went on to knock out AC Milan 3-1 before overcoming Juventus 3-3 across two legs, advancing on away goals back in February just before the shutdown.
The game itself was more tense than exciting. The Viola generally controlled possession and created more chances while the Gialloblù tried (and largely succeeded) in frustrating them with a deep defense, quick counters, and set pieces. Fiorentina scored through captain Eduard Dutu, who looped a perfect header into the top corner off a cleverly-worked corner, then hung on pretty well as Hellas threw numbers forward.
It’s also notable as the debut of manager Alberto Aquilani, who took over for Emiliano Bigica at the start of the month. The former Italy international had started the year working with the senior team as a technical coach before moving to an assistant post with the Primavera as Bigica’s obvious successor. It’s not a terrible start to his career as a mister to win a cup final in his first match ever in charge of a team.
The Primavera season kicks off next month and the kids should go into it with the energy of a massive victory under their new manager. Until then, though, they should enjoy the fruits of their labor and celebrate with the cup. They’ve earned it.