Thursday, May 6, 2010


ROME(AP) Inter Milan won the Italian Cup on Wednesday by beating AS Roma 1-0, boosting its chances of becoming the first Italian club to win a treble

Diego Milito scored in the 40th minute at Stadio Olimpico, carrying the ball past three defenders before hitting a powerful shot.

``We've won the first,'' Milito said. ``Now we're waiting for the other two. This victory will give us even more motivation for the league against Chievo (this weekend).''

Milito also scored once and set up two goals in Inter's 3-1 win over Barcelona in the opening leg of the Champions League semifinals.

Inter faces Bayern Munich for the Champions League title on May 22 in Madrid and holds a two-point lead over Roma with two games remaining in Serie A.

``This team deserves everything,'' Inter manager Jose Mourinho said. ``I hope we have what it takes to win more, because we still have three games to go. We deserve more than just this cup.''

It's Inter's sixth Italian Cup title and first since 2006 after losing two finals to Roma.

The victory may have come at a price, with Inter playmaker Wesley Sneijder and defender Ivan Cordoba both injured during the game.

Roma finished with 10 men after captain Francesco Totti received a red card for kicking 19-year-old Inter forward Mario Balotelli in the calf from behind two minutes from the end.

``We played with aggressiveness and intensity for 90 minutes,'' Mourinho said. ``We scored and then we controlled the game and Roma lost their heads.''

Roma coach Claudio Ranieri said Totti's foul came ``out of frustration.''

``We weren't able to play like we know how,'' Ranieri added.

There were worries before the match about fan violence, with Roma supporters still seething over Inter's 2-0 win over Lazio in Serie A on Sunday. Lazio was widely perceived to have allowed Inter to win, therefore denting city rival Roma's chances of winning Serie A.

But security was heightened and the tension was mostly contained to ironic banners held up by Roma supporters aimed at Lazio, although a fan was able to run on the field at the final whistle.

Inter began with its usual attack of Sneijder directing Samuel Eto'o and Milito; while Roma started with Totti on the bench in favor of Luca Toni and Mirko Vucinic.

Marco Materazzi stood in for injured Lucio in central defense for Inter

In the opening minute, Sneijder injured his right thigh during a collision with Roma defender Nicolas Burdisso and was replaced by Balotelli. Fans booed at the entrance of Balotelli, who is of Ghanian descent and often the subject of racism.

Milito had a goal disallowed for offside in the 17th, angering Mourinho, who went over to check a pitch-side monitor for the replay but an official wouldn't let him look.

In the 26th, Inter goalkeeper Julio Cesar did well to deflect a dangerous cross from Rodrigo Taddei just as Luca Toni was about to redirect the ball into the goal.

Roma midfielder Simone Perrotta missed a long header wide in the 34th. A minute later, Materazzi received a yellow card for fouling Vucinic to stop a counterattack. Materazzi appeared to be Inter's last man but Roma protested for a red card to no avail.

In the 39th, Inter lost another starter to injury when center back Cordoba had to be replaced by Walter Samuel.

Roma protested again in vain in first-half added time when Samuel clearly tugged at Toni's jersey to contain the 1.93-meter (6-foot-4) forward.

Totti came on for David Pizarro to start the second half, setting up a three-way attack with Toni and Vucinic.

Roma had an excellent chance in the 54th when goalkeeper Julio Cesar couldn't collect a long, bouncing free kick from Totti, and Juan's header off the rebound went just over the crossbar.

Swift-moving French forward Jeremy Menez replaced Toni in the 63rd and Roma threatened seconds later but Esteban Cambiasso headed away another dangerous cross from Taddei.

In the 81st, Vucinic received the ball behind Inter's defense but placed a sharply angled shot wide.


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