UEFA Champions League winners from last season Inter Milan reached the final of the FIFA Club World Cup after beating Asian Champions Seongnam Ilhwa 3-0. Pachuca beat Al Wahda on penalties to secure the 5th place in the competition.
F.C. Internazionale Milano put their recent problems behind them to see off Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma F.C. 3-0 at the Zayed Sports City Stadium and set up a final showdown with TP Mazembe of Africa. Despite the Koreans’ spirit and energy, this was a comfortable and morale-boosting evening for Rafael Benitez’s under-pressure side, who coasted to victory thanks to goals from Dejan Stankovic, Javier Zanetti and Diego Milito.
Julio Cesar and Milito were finally back in Rafa Benitez’s starting line-up, and both had good matches. The Nerazzurri kicked off in a stadium that included over 500 Inter fans but the game was halted after just one minute following a foul by Namkung on Sneijder that saw the Dutchman go hobblingoff the pitch. Milito and Eto’o combined quickly to orchestrate a move that ended with Stankovic collecting the ball as he burst into the box: he skipped past a defender and slotted beyond Jung into the far corner to give Inter a dream start. Seongnam’s first chance came after 16 minutes, but Molina’s shot from the edge of the box finished well wide. Captain Zanetti scored a goal that certainly had a legendary feel to it: after bringing the ball forward he fed Milito in the box then picked up the return ball via Milito’s heel and fired into the back of the net to finish off a delightful move and make it 0-2.
No changes were made during the interval and the first chance after the restart fell to the South Koreans, with Choi’s long-range effort flying high over the bar. Inter’s reply was another well worked move, this time involving Eto’o, Stankovic and Milito, but the finish was kept out by Jung. Any lingering doubts over the outcome were removed with 17 minutes remaining, when Diego Milito rounded off a thoroughly gratifying night’s work for the European champions by scrambling home at the second attempt after Samuel Eto’o’s initial effort had been blocked.
Inter Milan would now have a chance to become the 4th Champions League team in a row to win this competition, following the successes of AC Milan, Manchester United and last year’s champions FC Barcelona. The final would now be played on the 18th of December, when the Italian champions face Congolese side TP Mazembe.
Also last night, Mexican club Pachuca defeated Arabian side Al Wahda SC. Pachuca were 2-0 down with 8 minutes to play, but in a fantastic ending to the game, Pachuca’s striker Dario Cvitanich scored twice and took the game to Penalties. In the shoot-out, the two teams looked a class apart with the Mexicans slotting in all 4 of their penalties, while Al Wahda missing twice to give Pachuca the 5th place in the Club World Cup.