Bergamo was rocking.
When the final whistle blew to end the second leg of the Atalanta-Fiorentina matchup in the semifinals of the Coppa Italia, there were towels waiving, fans screaming, songs blaring, players embracing, and one team headed to Rome to play Lazio.
By a margin of 5-4 over two thrilling games, Atalanta have a chance to earn a trophy this year, and they deserve the chance more than anyone, especially considering the precocious club were the ones to have knocked out four-time defending champions Juventus earlier in the tournament.
For the first few minutes of the tie, though, Fiorentina was upset-minded. Just minutes into the game, La Viola won possession in the midfield and sent young star Federico Chiesa racing up the center of the pitch with the ball; he played Luis Muriel through the back line of Atalanta, and the Colombian striker poked the ball through Pierluigi Gollini's legs for a 1-0 lead.
But hardly 10 minutes later, the hosts struck back. Wearing the captain's armband, Papu Gomez weaseled his way into the penalty area amidst a swarm of Fiorentina defenders, and the diminutive No. 10 was eventually stomped on top of the foot, earning a penalty which Josip Iličić converted expertly.
The home side sealed the deal in the second half when Gomez sprayed a shot at the young French goalkeeper Albon Lafont, who fumbled the ball into the back of the net. The mistake put the game well beyond reach in the 69th minute.
In all, the matchup was everything a soccer game should be: end to end, thrilling, pulse-quickening, filled with songs and swings of momentum. Atalanta now have the opportunity to face Lazio on May 15 and win their first Coppa Italia trophy since 1963.