The Coppa Italia doesn’t share the same underdog tradition of the FA cup. Traditionally, the top teams reach the final places, with second division sides rarely making it past the round of 16. It is for this very reason that Italian 3rd division side Alessandria have been such a fairytale.
After eliminating Palermo and Genoa, the Piedmont based club currently in Italy’s “Pro League”, beat Serie B team Spezia, to reach an unlikely semifinal place.
After going ahead with Calaiò, Spezia came close to doubling, only to leave the scene to Bocalon, who first found the net in the 83rd minute and then doubled in the 92nd. As the final whistle blew, Alessandria’s entire bench cleared, as the players of this small side became local legends.
Alessandria will have to contend with Milan in the semi-finals, a dream come true for the Grey and Reds, who will have the chance to play at San Siro in the second leg, against the most successful team in the world. To separate them from the end only 180 minutes, but it turns out to be a success.
Alessandria are a historic Italian side. They were original members of the Italian first division from their year of establishment in 1912, and hung around the top ranks of Italian football till 1960, where they were finally relegated following a stint in the Mitropa Cup. Since then they have been stranded in the lower divisions, going bankrupt in 2003 following a financial scandal.
The Semi-finals are set to be a true David and Goliath story, and even the most hardcore Rossoneri supporters will be left with a small part of themselves rooting for Alessandria.