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Roma beat Palermo to meet Inter in final

ROME, April 12 (Reuters) - AS Roma set up an Italian Cup final against holders Inter Milan when they beat Palermo 1-0 on Wednesday to draw 2-2 on aggregate and go through on away goals.

The win at Rome's Olympic Stadium, courtesy of a first-half goal by midfielder Damiano Tommasi, gave Roma the chance to gain revenge over Inter, who beat them in last season's final.

Inter knocked out Udinese in their semi-final on Tuesday.

Roma started strongly against Palermo, slipping quickly into their passing game and setting up midfielder Houssine Kharja for a left-footed shot that flew just wide in the 18th minute.

Palermo created few first-half chances but were almost gifted the lead when Roma defender Samuel Kuffour miscontrolled a backpass and lost possession to Andrea Caracciolo.

The striker went through one-on-one against Roma's Brazilian keeper Doni but hesitated, allowing the Brazilian to parry his shot. By the time Caraccioli fired in the rebound, Christian Panucci had got back to clear the ball off the line.

Roma did take the lead on the half hour when Tommasi timed his run to perfection to head Cesare Bovo's cross in at the far post.

Palermo were more dangerous after the break but again Roma looked more likely to score as Bovo tested Federico Agliardi with a long-range free kick and Mancini failed to connect with a Simone Perrotta pass that bobbled across the face of goal.

Palermo's best chance came in stoppage time when the ball broke loose inside the area for Christian Terlizzi but the defender failed to get enough power on his shot to test Doni.

'It's a fantastic achievement,' said Roma coach Luciano Spalletti. 'To still be in this competition, particularly with some of the injury problems we've had, shows how hard our players have worked.

'We played well tonight especially on the break. But we also did well to keep a clean sheet. Players like Caracciolo stretch you at the back.'

The first leg of the final is scheduled for May 3, with the return on May 11.