Kamis, 23 April 2009

Sampdoria Make Coppa Italia Final Despite Inter Victory

Inter won 1-0 on the night thanks to Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but Sampdoria will meet Lazio in the final of the Coppa Italia after a 3-1 aggregate victory.

Inter 1-0 Sampdoria (1-3 agg)

Inter had a mountain to climb if they were to make it through to next month's final, having been thrashed 3-0 in the first leg in Genoa. Nevertheless, Jose Mourinho still believed in his side's chances and fielded a very strong team. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Mario Balotelli and Julio Cruz launched the attack, while Marco Materazzi returned in defence.

Sampdoria were hoping to finish off the job, and Walter Mazzarri was taking no chances with his team selection. Star duo Antonio Cassano and Giampaolo Pazzini were hoping to shine again, having scored all the goals in the first leg.

First Half

Inter had the first effort of the game as Ibrahimovic tested Luca Castellazzi with a long-range free kick.

But it was Samp who had the first glorious chance of the game. Cassano glided past his man and slipped through a delightful through pass to Paolo Sammarco, who had just Julio Cesar to beat, but the Brazilian saved with his foot and the rebound off Materazzi finished inches wide.

The star of the show in the early stages was Cassano, who was leading Ivan Cordoba a merrydance with his tricks. A nutmeg on Patrick Vieira led to roars from the crowd.

On 25 minutes, Pazzini went very close to scoring, as he soared above Cordoba to head just wide from Mirko Pieri's cross.

A minute later though, Inter were ahead through Ibrahimovic. The Swede volleyed home a brilliant shot from the edge of the area following a long Julio Cesar punt forward.

It was almost 2-0 seconds later, as Castellazzi was forced into a brilliant fingertip save from Ibrahimovic's header.

It was the Ibra-show, and the ex-Juventus star almost scored a contender for goal of the season on 36 minutes as he impudently lobbed the ball over Castellazzi from the angle of the area, only to see the woodwork come to Sampdoria's rescue.

Seconds before the break, Inter again went desperately close, as Ibrahimovic chipped the ball up for Cruz, who headed centimetres past the near post.

Second Half

Inter continued to push forward in the second half, and Ibrahimovic smashed a long-range volley over the bar.

There were two penalty appeals on 51 minutes, as first Cassano and then Pazzini went down in the area, but the referee turned away.

Jose Mourinho used up all three of his substitutes, and one of the entrants almost made an immediate impact, as Hernan Crespo flashed a first-time volley just wide on the hour mark.

A few minutes later, Cassano slalomed past three Inter players, but with just Julio Cesar to beat, he was denied. It would have been a magnificent goal from 'Talentino'.

Sampdoria were settled now, and almost got the key away goal with 15 minutes remaining, as Maxwell cleared off the line from Hugo Campagnaro after Julio Cesar had flapped at a corner.

Time was now running out for Inter, but Ibrahimovic almost set-up a grandstand finish with five minutes left as he flashed a shot just over the bar. The Swede's cross then crashed off the crossbar, and Castellazzi dived on Burdisso's rebound.

Marco Materazzi received his marching orders in injury time for a second yellow card, but it mattered little.

Inter won 1-0 on the night, but it wasn't enough as Sampdoria progress to the final 3-1 on aggregate. Lazio await after they defeated Juventus in the other semi-final.


Inter: Julio Cesar; Santon, Cordoba (Chivu 46), Materazzi, Maxwell; Zanetti, Burdisso, Vieira (Cambiasso 54); Cruz (Crespo 54), Ibrahimovic, Balotelli.

Sampdoria: Castellazzi; Campagnaro, Lucchini, Accardi; Raggi (Stankevicius 66), Sammarco, Palombo, Franceschini, Pieri; Pazzini (Padalino 90), Cassano (Delvecchio 76)


Ibrahimovic 26 (I)

Red Card

Materazzi 94 (I)


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