Soccer-Higuain double for Napoli closes gap on leaders Roma


By Terry Daley

ROME, Oct 27 (Reuters) - Two Gonzalo Higuain penalties spurred Napoli to a 2-0 win over 10-man Torino on Sunday, lifting them to two points behind Serie A leaders AS Roma.

The Argentine struck in the 14th and 32nd minutes from the penalty spot to take his tally for the season to five goals. Napoli moved up to 22 points from nine games, three ahead of champions Juventus who play Genoa later on Sunday. Torino are 12th on 10 points.

Napoli were awarded the first penalty after Dries Mertens looked to have gone down very easily under Nicola Bellomo's challenge, while a harsh handball against Kamil Glik earned them the second. Glik accidentally blocked Federico Fernandez's shot from point blank range with his arm.

Referee Andrea De Marco initially waved away the home side's penalty claims but with Torino breaking away and bearing down on goal, he then pulled play back and pointed to the spot, infuriating Torino boss Giampiero Ventura.

Migjen Basha further compounded the visitors' misery four minutes before the end when he was shown a straight red card for pulling down Goran Pandev from behind as the Macedonian looked to be clean through on goal.

Leaders Roma are aiming for their ninth straight win at Udinese later on Sunday. (Reporting by Terry Daley, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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