Record Mertens goal, Napoli into Cup final

Napoli's Dries Mertens scored in their Coppa Italia clash with Inter Milan at the San Paolo Stadium

Dries Mertens has set a club record by scoring the decisive goal as Napoli advanced to the Italian Cup final after a 1-1 draw with Inter Milan 1-1 on Saturday.

In both sides' first match in more than three months due to the coronavirus pandemic, Inter took an early lead when Christian Eriksen scored directly from a corner kick.

Mertens equalised before the break by finishing off a splendid counter attack to eclipse Marek Hamsik as Napoli's leading scorer with his 122nd goal in all competitions.

Napoli advanced 2-1 on aggregate having won the first leg 1-0 in February.

"We wanted to reach the final at all costs," Napoli captain Lorenzo Insigne said.

In the final on Wednesday in Rome, Napoli will face Juventus, who eliminated AC Milan on away goals after a 0-0 result on Friday in the first match of Italian soccer's restart.

No games had been played since the sport was shut down in early March .

Before kick-off in Naples inside an empty San Paolo Stadium, a minute of silence was observed to mourn the more than 34,000 people who have died from the virus in Italy.

"Hopefully we brought them some joy tonight," Insigne said of the medical workers and others who have been affected the most during the pandemic.

Napoli coach Gennaro Gattuso looked to the sky -- likely remembering his younger sister, Francesca, who died last week from diabetes.

"We dedicate this win to him," Insigne said of Gattuso.

During the warm-up, Inter players wore armbands that read "#NoToDiscrimination"

Napoli goalkeeper David Ospina was caught off guard when Eriksen's corner found its way through traffic and went through his legs two minutes in.

But Ospina redeemed himself when he set up Mertens' goal with a splendid long ball to Insigne.

Insigne smartly attracted two defenders before leaving the ball for a wide open Mertens to calmly finish.

It was such a swift counterattack that referee Gianluca Rocchi had to be treated with a spray on the sideline for an apparent muscular problem.

"We try this play often in training," Insigne said.

Napoli are chasing a sixth Italian Cup title and first since 2014.

Success would provide them a direct entry into the Europa League group phase - a welcome prospect amid a difficult Serie A season.