HAMBURG - Walter Mazzarri's Inter drew 1-1 with Hamburg in a prestigious friendly played in soaring temperatures at the Imtech Arena this afternoon.
The game was barely 60 seconds old when Mauro Icardi notched his first goal in black and blue. Guarin played a peach of a ball into the danger area and the Argentine striker stabbed home first time to give Inter the lead.
The second half began in a similar fashion to the first, only this time it was the hosts who scored. Rudnevs was the quickest to the ball when Arslan's cross came in from the right to head past a helpless Handanovic.
Despite facing a team that are much further ahead with their pre-season preparations, the Nerazzurri bossed the game for long spells and probably should have nicked a winner. Certainly Walter Mazzarri will have been pleased with some of the things he saw today.
The Nerazzurri got off to a cracking start. Guarin broke down the right flank before curling a perfectly weighted ball into the box, where Icardi was on hand to steer past Drobny and notch up his first goal in an Inter shirt.
continued to press forward and in the 7th minute Nagatomo pinged in a
dangerous ball, only for Westermann to beat everyone to it and clear.
The hosts fashioned their first meaningful chance after 11 minutes. Rudnevs' shot from the left of the area was well parried by Handanovic before Juan Jesus blocked Van der Vaart's follow-up attempt, conceding a corner. After the corner had been sent in and cleared, the Nerazzurri No.1 was called into action once more to put Arslan's long-range effort behind.
Inter threatened again on the quarter-hour mark as Icardi collected a long pass inside the box but he was denied when Westermann made an important interception. A minute later Cambiasso won a lucky deflection on the left of the box and pulled the trigger, firing over.
A great chance fell to Rudnevs when he was picked out well in the box
in the 17th minute, yet he failed to get much power
on his shot and Handanovic dropped to save it from close range. Jiracek then flicked a
header a fraction wide of the post (21) before the teams were granted a
brief time-out to rehydrate owing to the intense heat.
Arms were soon taken up again and Hamburg were keen to strike the first blow, Pereira doing well to cut out a dangerous ball aimed at Jansen.
Five minutes later it was Inter's turn to thrust forward. Cambiasso released Palacio down the right and the striker centred for Icardi, the German rearguard clearing their lines with some difficulty. That heralded a busy few minutes as Jansen (31) and Palacio (32) both tried their luck from distance, but Handanovic and a defender, respectively, kept the goal count at one.
In the 38th minute Jansen again made a
mischief of himself as he got away from Nagatomo and crossed from just
outside the box. Handanovic came off his line well to claim then four
minutes later punched Van der Vaart's corner clear, setting Palacio off
on the counter in the process: the Argentine's charge on goal was
stopped by a last-ditch challenge from Diekmeier.
The Nerazzurri thus headed in for the break, and some much needed respite from the heat, holding a one-goal advantage.
The same teams emerged for the second period with just one exception: Marco Andreolli came out in place of Andrea Ranocchia.
It didn't take Hamburg long to equalise in the same goal that had yielded Inter's opener, and almost the same amount of time after kick-off. Arslan's useful ball from the byline was met by Rudnevs in the middle of the box and the striker nodded the Germans level.
Alvarez looked to restore Inter's lead on 50 minutes when he lashed
goalwards from distance, his shot deflected out for a corner, while six
minutes later Palacio earned himself a wonderful opportunity by winning
the ball off Sobiech, only to delay a fraction too long as he entered
the box and allow the defender to make amends for his earlier mistake.
Rudnevs stole a march on the Nerazzurri defence in the 61st minute but he failed to trouble Handanovic with his header.
That was the cue for Cambiasso and Icardi to make way for Kuzmanovic and Belfodil, with Ricky Alvarez taking over the captaincy duties.
In the 64th minute Westermann beat Andreolli to Guarin's corner but Inter were coming into the ascendancy, and they proceeded to carve out a glut of chances. Belfodil's effort from inside the box (69) came off a defender and fell at the feet of Alvarez, whose drive Drobny somehow managed to keep out. A minute later the Polish shotstopper bettered himself by pulling off a miraculous double save from Palacio: first to keep out his header and then to block the striker's follow-up attempt from just two yards out.
There was another drinks break midway through the half, after which Mazzarri's side again pressed down on the accelerator in search of a winner. Hamburg's goalkeeper had other ideas however, and performed another super save to thwart Campagnaro's close-range header.
In the 79th minute Handanovic had the chance to prove his own reflexes hadn't been affected by the heat when he saved Badelj's sidefooted effort from inside the box.
At that point the torrid temperatures began to take their toll and despite the numerous substitutions (six for each team) the action dried up.
Inter leave the Imtech Arena with an encouraging draw as attentions
now turn to the US tour and the start of the Guinness International
Champions Cup next week.
Hamburg 1-1 Inter (HT: 0-1)
Scorers: Icardi 2, Rudnevs 47.
Hamburg (4-2-3-1): 1 Drobny; 2 Diekmeier, 16 Sobiech, 4 Westermann (28 Tah, 76), 7 Jansen; 18 Arslan (25 Skjelbred, 85), 14 Badelj (27 Demirbay, 85); 21 Beister (6 Aogo, 72), 23 Van der Vaart (9 Calhanoglu, 76), 19 Jiracek; 10 Rudnevs (31 Zoua, 72).
Unused subs: 30 Neuhaus, 3 Mancienne, 8 Rincon, 24 Rajkovic, 34 Nafiu.
Coach: Thorsten Fink.
Inter (3-5-2): 1 Handanovic; 14 Campagnaro, 23 Ranocchia (6 Andreolli, 46), 5
Juan Jesus; 55 Nagatomo (2 Jonathan, 80), 13 Guarin (90 Olsen, 87), 19 Cambiasso (17 Kuzmanovic, 62), 11 Alvarez, 31
Pereira; 8 Palacio (47 Capello, 80), 9 Icardi (7 Belfodil, 62).
Unused subs: 12 Castellazzi, 20 Carrizo, 25 Samuel, 26 Chivu, 33 Mbaye, 34 Mira, 54 Donkor.
Coach: Walter Mazzarri.
Referee: Florian Meyer (assistants Arne Aarnink and Cristoph Bornhorst; fourth man Thomas Gorniak).