Dubai Cup: Inter beat Ajax on penalties


Cruz scores twice, Balotelli hits bar in 2-2 draw. Nerazzurri through to final after spot kicks

DUBAI - Inter beat Ajax on penalties after a 2-2 draw and will face Brazilian outfit Internacional Porto Alegre in Monday's final of the Mohammed bin Rashid International Football Championship.

The Nerazzurri edged in front in the 17th minute of Saturday's Dubai Cup match at the Al-Wasl Stadium when Julio Cruz chested down a Suazo cross and fired past Ajax shotstopper Stekelenburg.

Ajax's reply was immediate, Perez outfoxing Burdisso before sending an unstoppable shot beyond Enrico Alfonso.

Ajax took a 2-1 lead on 63 minutes when Huntelaar converted from the spot after an Alfonso foul on Suarez.

Inter levelled within minutes and once again the scorer was Cruz. Chivu crossed from the corner flag and El Jardinero headed past Stekelenburg.

Second-half sub Mario Balotelli almost snatched a winner for the Nerazzurri but his spectacular shot from an almost impossible angle struck the crossbar.

Mancini's team secured their place in Monday's final with a 3-2 victory in the resulting penalty shootout.

Inter 2-2 Ajax (5-4 after pens)

Scorers: Cruz 17, 67, Perez 18, Heitinga (pen) 63.

Penalties: Van der Heijden (post), Cruz (goal, 3-2), Suarez (goal, 3-3), Balotelli (goal, 4-3), De Jong (goal, 4-4), Chivu (saved, 4-4), Kennedy (miss, 4-4), Burdisso (goal, 5-4), Heitinga (saved, 5-4).

Inter: Alfonso; Rivas, Burdisso, Chivu, Maxwell; Pelé, Cambiasso, Solari; Siligardi (Balotelli 65); Suazo (Pedrelli 75), Cruz.
Subs not used: Orlandoni, Cordoba, Zanetti, Materazzi, Fatic, Jimenez, Cesar, Bolzoni, Crespo.
Coach: Mancini.

Ajax: Stekelenburg; Ogararu, Heitinga, Maduro, Vertonghen (Schilder 46; Van der Heijden 51); Donald (Rommedahl 46), Perez (De Jong 46), Davids (Emanuelson 33); Kennedy, Huntelaar (Leonardo 46), Suarez.
Subs not used: Gentenaar, Urzair, Luque, Colin.
Coach: Koster.

Referee: Ali Hamad.

Booked: Heitinga, Leonardo, Alfonso.

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