Sunday, 24 August 2008

Inter claim tense Supercoppa success

Serie A champions Inter won the Supercoppa Italia for the fourth time by defeating Coppa Italia victors Roma 6-5 on penalties at the San Siro after an entertaining 2-2 draw.

Inter 2-2 Roma (Pens: 6-5)Inter created several opportunities to score before breaking the deadlock, going particularly close after six minutes when Zlatan Ibrahimovic chested down a long pass by Sulley Muntari and dribbled past Juan and John Arne Riise in the box before shooting just wide of the near post with only goalkeeper Doni to beat.

They eventually took the lead on 19 minutes when Ibrahimovic controlled a ball just outside Roma's penalty box and fed Maicon wide on the right. The Brazilian right-back sent in a powerful low cross which Philippe Mexes deflected onto his own bar but Muntari fired in the rebound.

Jose Mourinho's side continued to stay in control until Daniele De Rossi's equaliser on the hour mark – a thunderous right-footed shot into the top-left corner of Julio Cesar's goal.

Substitute Mario Balotelli scored again for the Nerazzurri seven minutes from time as, with only Doni to beat after the Roma defence failed to clear a long ball, he found the net with a precise lob over the onrushing goalkeeper.

But an added-time leveller by Mirko Vucinic sent the game into extra time as the striker met David Pizarro's corner from the left, sending it in via a deflection off Dejan Stankovic.

During extra time, Balotelli forced Doni into three difficult saves as Inter were forced to settle for a shoot-out.

Stankovic and Francesco Totti hit the bar for either side while Cesar's save from Juan allowed Inter captain Javier Zanetti to dispatch the decisive penalty to give Mourinho his first trophy as the club's coach.

Source: UEFA

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