Inter go through in the Next-Gen Series

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Inter go through in the Next-Gen Series Empty Inter go through in the Next-Gen Series

Post by Interista809 Thu Jan 26, 2012 5:22 am

The visitors overcame the Portuguese side with an exhibition of disciplined, tactical football to register arguably the shock result of the tournament.

Sporting came into the quarter final in confident mood having finished top of NextGen Group 2, qualifying with a record 16 points, having scored 20 goals and only conceding an equally impressive 6, an away goalless draw against Wolfsburg the only blemish in the Portuguese giants campaign going into the fixture.

One notable absentee from the Sporting line up was Joao Carlos Teixiera, with the midfielder set to sign for fellow NextGen participants Liverpool in the near future.

Inter travelled to Leiria having recovered from an open day 7-1 drubbing at the hands of Tottenham to qualify from Group 4 in second place ahead of PSV Eindhoven and FC Basle.

The hosts kicked off in the familiar 4-3-3 formation that has served them so well throughout the tournament and did not take long to get into their stride, Iuri Medeiros stinging the palms of Di Gennaro from the edge of the Inter area in the 6th minute.

Sporting's approach forced Inter to play on the break and the Nezazzuri nearly found a way through midway in the first half, Sporting keeper Ricardo Veloso having to be alert to deny Samuele Longo, who had broken free of the Sporting defence.

The Portuguese continued to press and should have taken the lead in the 23rd minute, Betinho narrowly failing to make contact from a Mario corner with Di Gennaro stranded.

Perhaps wary of a Lisbon side that has scored freely throughout the tournament, Inter were happy to let Sporting have the majority of the ball, restricting the hosts to a series of corners and set pieces.

Inter's defensive approach nearly proved to be their own undoing, as Lukas Spendlhofer was feet away from slicing a Carlos Chaby cross into his own net five minutes before the break.

The second half opened with a spate of yellow cards, one Alborno challenge on Mane in particular demonstrative on the Italian’s physical approach.

Inter continued to play on the break and took the lead from a rare foray forward in the 57th minute against the run of play, M'Baye rising highest in the Sporting area to head a Daniel Bessa corner past Ricardo Veloso.

With chances at a premium, Sporting missed a glorious opportunity to equalise with a miss normally reserved for Christmas stocking filler DVD's from the normally deadly Alberto Coehlo.

Ricardo Esgaio unpicked the Inter back four to put Coehlo clean through, but having rounded Di Gennarro the young forward rolled his shot past the near post with the goal gaping.

With Sporting committing more men forward in search of an equaliser, Inter missed a chance to double their lead, Longo firing a Joseph Duncan cross over Veloso's crossbar from 8 yards.

Sporting continued to struggle to break down the visitors, Iluri Medeiros having a late goal ruled out for off-side, the underdogs held on for a surprise victory to secure their place in the semi-finals.

Inter will now face Marseille, who recorded a 2-1 victory against Aston Villa at Villa Park, with the two remaining quarter finals, Tottenham Hotspur versus Liverpool and Barcelona versus Ajax being played on the 1st and 8th of February respectively.

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