29.09.09 / 20:22
KAZAN - Dejan Stankovic headed in an equalising goal to cancel out Alejandro Dominguez' opener as the Nerazzurri earned a 1-1 draw against Rubin Kazan in their second match of Champions League Group F.
With Milito and Muntari declared unfit to face the Russian champions, Mourinho paired Eto'o in attack with Mancini and handed Mario Balotelli his second successive start. But the young Italian striker's match lasted an hour with referee Hauge producing a second yellow card that meant red.
Inter were on the back foot after eleven minutes. Dominguez started his run midway inside our half and with a devastating burst of pace took the ball Lucio and Samuel before firing past Julio Cesar and into the roof of the net.
Dominguez continued to be the number one threat and he came close to a quick second, forcing Julio Cesar into a tipped save with his inswinging free kick from the left.
Stankovic popped up with the all-important equaliser three minutes short of the half hour, heading past Ryzhikov after getting on the end of Maicon's right-wing cross.
Seconds before the Serbian's goal, Mancini wriggled free of an opponent and tested Ryzhikov from an acute angle. And minutes after, Balotelli almost put us in front but his goal-bound strike from distance was denied by the crossbar.
Rubin, though, were no pushovers and the Russian champions produced more chances before the break. Lucio made a crucial interception to deny Bukharov, who later wasted a chance from Karadeniz' cross. Inter's Brazilian central defender carved out a decent chance in time added on but flashed his low shot wide of the target.
Dominguez and co. started the second half as they ended the first and Julio Cesar was forced into a smothering save from Ansaldi's long-range kick, before watching Semak slice his shot wide after an inviting pass from Bukharov.
Inter suffered a blow when Balotelli was red-carded for a second bookable offence, forcing Mourinho's men to play the remaining thirty minutes against a fast team with plenty of reference points in attack.
But the Nerazzurri withstood a barrage of attacks and Julio Cesar made vital blocks from Dominguez and his countryman Ansaldi as Inter brought home a draw that could easily have been a defeat when Semak received from Cesar Navas, only to crash his shot on to the post.
Rubin Kazan 1-1 Inter (HT: 1-1)
Scorers: Dominguez 11, Stankovic 27.
Rubin Kazan: 77 Ryzhikov; 9 Salukvadze, 76 Sharonov, 4 Cesar Navas, 3 Ansaldi; 15 Ryazantsev, 16 Noboa, 7 Semak, 61 Karadeniz; 10 Dominguez (88 Kasaev 86); 11 Bukharov.
Subs not used: 29 Revishvili, 5 Bystrov, 23 Balyaikin, 24 Popov, 32 Gorbanets, 42 Murawski.
Coach: Kurban Berdyev.
Inter: 12 Julio Cesar; 13 Maicon, 6 Lucio, 25 Samuel, 26 Chivu; 4 Zanetti, 19 Cambiasso (14 Vieira 80), 5 Stankovic; 45 Balotelli, 9 Eto'o, 30 Mancini (7 Quaresma 64).
Subs not used: 1 Toldo, 21 Orlandoni, 2 Cordoba, 15 Krhin, 30 Mancini, 39 Santon.
Coach: José Mourinho.
Referee: Terje Hauge (Norway).
Booked: Karadeniz 9, Samuel 14, Balotelli 20, 60, Maicon 63.
Sent off: Balotelli 60.