TURIN - Adriano Leite Ribeiro picked up where he left off with two more goals as Inter drew 2-2 with Juventus in a dramatic Tim Cup semi-final first leg at the Delle Alpi. And Alvaro Recoba underlined the excellent understanding between the two South Americans with two sublime assists.
The Brazilian bomber stunned the home crowd after just 3 minutes with a precise shot past Chimenti after bringing down Recoba's ball played over the Bianconeri rearguard. Juventus were back in the match minutes later when Di Vaio shot low into an open goal with Toldo way off his line.
Adriano restored the Nerazzurri's lead on 34 minutes with a close-range header from Il Chino's inch-perfect left-wing cross, and went close to making it 3-1 after the restart when his fierce shot from the distance hit the right-hand post. That was after Okan Buruk headed onto the crossbar and before Francesco Toldo received his marching orders for handling the ball outside the penalty area - the turning point in the match. Alex Cordaz came on to make his Inter debut, Recoba came off and Inter took up a 4-4-1 formation. The rookie goalkeeper was hardly to blame for Di Vaio's second goal of the match, a shot which went in off the underside of the crossbar.
If these ninety minutes were anything to go by, the stage is set for a fascinating return leg at the Meazza a week tomorrow.
JUVENTUS 2-2 INTER (ht: 1-2)
Scorers: Adriano 3', 34', Di Vaio 6', 70'
JUVENTUS: Chimenti, Ferrara (Nedved 79'), Tudor, Pessotto, Conte (Del Piero 64'), Miccoli, Iuliano, Maresca, Appiah, Zambrotta (Camoranesi 46'), Di Vaio
Subs not used: Buffon, Tacchinardi, Montero, Bouvianski
Coach: Marcello Lippi
INTER: Toldo, Cordoba, J. Zanetti, Adriano, Stankovic, Farinos, Cannavaro, Kily Gonzalez, Recoba (Cordaz 63'), Gamarra (Okan 17'), Pasquale
Subs not used: Lamouchi, Karagounis, Martins, Eliakwu, Nossa
Coach: Alberto Zaccheroni
Booked: Recoba 26', Cordaz 85'
Sent off: Toldo 63'