Napoli midifelder Marek Hamsik is a relatively slight playmaker with a reputation for finesse in the final third, but when his team needed a goal in extra-time last night the Slovakian star threw that out of the window in spectacular fashion.
Hamsik launched a rocket of a strike into the top corner with Napoli's Coppa Italia tie against Udinese finely poised at 1-1, smashing the ball home in a goal that had shades of a certain Robert Pires special for Arsenal against Liverpool a decade ago.
The Partenopei skipper's special effort wasn't enough to stop the match going to penalties though, with Napoli only progressing to the next round after a nerve-shredding penalty shootout.
Marek makes his mark
Undoubtedly the highlight of a topsy-turvy clash was an inspired moment of individual quality from Hamsik, who picked up the ball out wide and shifted quickly beyond his marker before uncorking a ferocious stop into the top corner.
Udinese goalkeeper Simone Scuffet had absolutely no chance, but did the decent thing and made a full-length dive towards his far post for the cameras to make the goal look even more outrageous.
Kone hit back
Hamsik's goal lit the touch paper on a tremendous period of added time, which also featured an almost instant response from Panagiotis Kone, who measured his own volley into the corner for an equaliser also well worth shouting about.
Kone has past form against Napoli and clearly enjoyed the clever finish, but ultimately it was a case of so near yet so far for Udinese, with the Greek international second best in terms of the result and goal of the night. So near but yet so far...
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