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Zanetti leads Inter Milan into Italian Cup final

05-12-2011 13:51 BJT

MILAN - Inter Milan celebrated a landmark game for captain Javier Zanetti by reaching the Italian Cup final after a 1-1 draw at home to Roma on Wednesday.

Inter Milan's Javier Zanetti celebrates their win against AS Roma at the end of the Italian
Cup soccer match at the San Siro stadium in Milan May 11, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]

Inter won the tie 2-1 overall and will meet Palermo in the final at Rome's Olympic Stadium on May 29.

The 37-year-old Zanetti played his 1000th competitive match as a professional and received a trophy to mark the occasion before the match.

"It was a very emotional night and a very important match for me," Zanetti said. "It was a very difficult game, as all games are against Roma as it is a team filled with excellent players.

Inter Milan's Samuel Eto'o shoots to score against AS Roma during their Italian Cup soccer
match at the San Siro stadium in Milan May 11, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]

"We did enough tonight and it was a good night. We have already won the Italian Super Cup and the Club World Cup this season and now we want to end the season on a positive note."

Following an insipid first half Samuel Eto'o broke the deadlock midway through the second half. Marco Borriello pulled a goal back for Roma with four minutes to go, but it wasn't enough to inspire a fightback.

It is the last of the three trophies Inter won last season that it still has a chance of defending and gives coach Leonardo the chance of winning his first trophy.

Inter was quickly into its stride. Maicon got behind Roma's defense in the first minute, but shot into the side netting from a tight angle, while Giampaolo Pazzini was denied by a last ditch tackle by Juan.

Inter Milan's Samuel Eto'o (hidden) shoots to score past AS Roma's goalkeeper Doni (R)
during their Italian Cup soccer match at the San Siro stadium in Milan May 11, 2011.
[Photo/Agencies]

Inter Milan's MacDonald Mariga (L) fights for the ball with AS Roma's Jeremy Menez during
their Italian Cup soccer match at the San Siro stadium in Milan May 11, 2011.
[Photo/Agencies]

Roma hit back, but without success. Marco Borriello was off target with two chances and Daniele De Rossi curled a shot wide from the edge of the box.

Eventually it was Inter that broke the deadlock and as on so many occasions this season it was Eto'o that scored. He was first to Simone Perrotta's weak clearance to shoot low through Inter's massed defense for his 35th goal of the season.

Pazzini then had a chance to make it two for Inter after he escaped Juan's attention, but Doni pushed his powerful shot away.

Borriello hit both posts in the 76th. He spun off Lucio to shoot low, but hit the inside of the post and the ball rolled along the face of goal, hit the other post and rebounded clear.

Inter Milan's Samuel Eto'o celebrates with his coach Leonardo after scoring
against AS Roma during their Italian Cup soccer match at the San Siro stadium
in Milan May 11, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]

Perrotta made amends for his earlier error when he set Borriello up for his goal. He picked out the striker with a cross and Borriello rose above Lucio to head past Cesar.

Roma had one last chance with a freekick in injury time, but Doni clattered into his opposite number as he took the ball and Inter cleared the danger with the freekick.

"We were good in the first half, but lacked a bit of pace and a bit of confidence," Roma coach Vincenzo Montella said. "We carried on to the end, but we were playing Inter and you can't expect to get anything against them."

Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: China Daily

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