WFC: Inter 1-1 Club America (5-6 after pens)


Oscar Rojas scores decisive penalty in shoot-out. Cordoda cancels out Silva goal in normal time

PALO ALTO - Ivan Ramiro Cordoba headed home an equaliser as Inter held Club America to force a penalty shoot-out in the opening match of the pre-season World Football Challenge tournament at the Stanford Stadium.

Patrick Vieira missed Inter's fourth penalty after conversions from Balotelli, Milito and Ibrahimovic, leaving Oscar Rojas to wrap up a penalties victory for the Aguilas.

Wearing their new strips for the first time, the Nerazzurri started against the Mexicans with a 4-2-3-1, with Muntari and Cambiasso in holding roles and Stankovic, Motta and Quaresma in support of lone striker Milito.

Portuguese winger Quaresma showed signs of his pre-season form in the early stages, sending a trivela shot over the far post before delivering an inch-perfect cross for Thiago Motta whose flicked header finished wide. The Brazilian midfielder's former Genoa team-mate Milito raced into the box and sidestepped two opponents before firing over as Inter continued their encouraging start.

Club America should have taken the lead before the half-hour when Cabanas inexplicably stroked wide after a defence-splitting one-two with Esqueda.

After thirty minutes of 4-2-3-1 Inter switched to 4-3-3 with the introduction of Balotelli for Muntari, who was struggling with a back problem. But the best chances of the remainder of the first half belonged to the Aguilas, with Pardo sending a free kick on to the bar before Cabanas fired against the post after the referee blowed for a foul on Materazzi.

Club America carried their momentum into the second half and were a goal to the good six minutes in when substitute Silva volleyed home Pardo's right-wing corner.

With Burdisso, Vieira and Zanetti on for Materazzi and Stankovic and Chivu at the break, Mourinho made two further changes after Club America's goal, bringing on Ibrahimovic for Quaresma and Mancini for Motta.

The Nerazzurri were level ten minutes after falling behind when Cordoba's far-post header from Balotelli's right-wing corner went in off Aguilas keeper Navarreto.

Obi replaced Cambiasso and Krhin came on for Santon as Mourinho used all his substitutes except for Orlandoni, leaving Belec between the posts for ninety minutes. In the closing stages Inter's young Slovenian keeper was the victim of a harsh challenge by Esqueda, which resulted in a red card for the Mexican striker.

With time running out Obi served Milito in the box but the Argentine was denied by Navarrete.

Obi followed Esqueda into the players tunnel ahead of time after a dangerous challenge on Oscar Rojas.

Inter continued their search for a late winner in time added on when Mancini whipped in a fierce low cross, forcing Navarrete into a clearance.

Club America scored all five of their penalties in the resulting shoot-out, with Vieira missing Inter's fourth before O.Rojas netted the final spot kick.

Inter 1-1 Club America (HT: 0-0; 5-6 after pens)

Scorers: Silva 51, Cordoba 61.

Penalties: Balotelli (goal, 1-0), Chitiva (goal, 1-1), Milito (goal, 2-1), Mosquera (goal, 2-2), Ibrahimovic (goal, 3-2), Silva (goal, 3-3), Vieira (miss, 3-3), Marquez (goal, 3-4), Burdisso (goal, 4-4), O.Rojas (goal, 4-5)

Inter: Belec; Santon (Krhin 78), Cordoba, Materazzi (Burdisso 46), Chivu (Zanetti 46); Cambiasso (Obi 63), Muntari (Balotelli 30); Stankovic (Vieira 46), Motta (Mancini 55), Quaresma (Ibrahimovic 55); Milito.
Subs not used: Orlandoni.
Coach: José Mourinho.

Club America: Navarrete; O.Rojas, Sanchez, Mosquera, R.Rojas; Reyna (A.Rivas 74), Beausejour (A.Sanchez 74), Pardo (Chitiva 86), Martinez (Silva 46); Esqueda, Cabanas (Marquez 85).
Subs not used: Pineda, Inigo, Rodriguez, Gonzalez, Konto, Giannis, Garcia.
Coach: Jesus Ramirez.

Referee: Baldomero Toledo (USA).

Booked: Reyna 21, Mosquera 35, Chivu 37, Vieira 75, Balotelli 79.
Sent off: Esqueda 80, Obi 87.

Att.: 31,026.

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