Author Topic: INTER BEAT SPORTING 2-0  (Read 132 times)


  • Guest
« on: August 27, 2002, 07:59:05 PM »
MILAN - Inter are through to the group stage of the Champions League 2002/03 after beating Sporting Lisbon 2-0 at the San Siro.

A veritable end-to-end affair, the first chance of this crucial Champions League qualifier fell to the visitors in the 7th minute when Sporting captain Barbosa struck a fierce long-range shot wide of Toldo 's right-hand post.

Inter responded immediately through Recoba , who should have passed to a team-mate but instead twisted and turned on the edge of the Portuguese box before being caught in possession. Recoba was provided with a further opportunity a minute later when put through by captain Zanetti, but after the excellent work down the right by the Argentine, the Uruguayan's final shot was disappointing and easily saved by Tiago.

A protagonist in defence and attack, Italian international Di Biagio cleared a dangerous corner by Barbosa in the 10th minute before testing Tiago from the distance minutes later. In the 17th minute a diagonal aerial ball in from a classy Dalmat was tipped far enough away by the Sporting custodian to deny Materazzi a clear chance.

The Inter defence then held tight during a period of dominance by the Portuguese. In the 19th minute, Quaresma thundered in a shot that finished just off-target. Toldo made an acrobatic save to push Rui Jorge's header wide in the 24th minute, then Cordoba expertly headed wide a Sporting free kick to deny Niculae.

Back at the other end, Recoba carved out an opportunity for himself in the 31st minute after beating his marker, then fired in a left-footed long-range shot along the ground that was pushed around for a corner. Recoba 's inswinging corner found the head of Gigi Di Biagio , who powered a header past Tiago.

Increasing frustration in the Sporting Lisbon ranks resulted in the booking of captain Barbosa in the 38th minute, then in the final minute of the half Recoba put Inter 2-0 up. Dalmat 's ball from the centre to the left wing was crossed in by Morfeo , then the Uruguayan international headed past Tiago to send the San Siro into ecstasy.

Sporting Lisbon made their intentions clear right from the start of the second half. With less than a minute played, Toldo was called into action to make a save from Tonito. In the 5th minute, Sporting were awarded a free kick on the edge of the Inter box after Quaresma was brought down, but Cesar Prates wasted the set piece, shooting way over.

Inter regained composure and Morfeo was presented with a chance in the 9th minute after a delightful one-two with Dalmat , but the former Fiorentina ace's final touch was too weak to create any serious problems for Tiago.

With Dalmat and Di Biagio running the show in the middle of the park, Sporting looked to exploit the right flank. But Coco proved his value to the Nerazzurri, keeping a quiet Cesar Prates and a creative Quaresma under control.

Fabio Cannavaro came on for Guglielminpietro in the 14th minute to make his debut in an Inter shirt, and the Italian international defender slotted into the right-back position alongside Materazzi . Two minutes later, Quaresma was fouled by Morfeo to the right of the Inter box, but Niculae's resulting free kick posed no threat to Toldo and finished well over the bar.

On 20 minutes, a trademark long-range effort by Recoba forced Tiago to stretch but the shot went wide of his left-hand post, then Bobo Vieri had two chances in quick succession to increase the Nerazzurri's lead. After heading a Morfeo corner wide when it would have been easier to score, Vieri struck wide again, this time with his right foot, after a superb defence-splitting ball through by Morfeo .

Cannavaro defused a potentially dangerous Sporting move in the 32nd minute, racing across the Inter area to clear. After a typically gritty performance in midfield, Di Biagio was substituted by Almeyda a minute later to deafening applauses from the crowd.

With the luxury of a two-goal lead and five minutes left on the clock, Hector Cuper made his third substitution, bringing on Bernardo Corradi for Christian Vieri . Right at the end, Corradi provided an assist for Recoba , who hit a first-time volley that finished inches wide.

Referee Rene Temmink blew his whistle after three minutes of injury time and... mission accomplished - Inter are into the Champions League!

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 04:00:00 PM by 1034398800 »