XT Post Number King
Teams: INTER & Tottenham Hotspur
CL: Iaquinta silences Sporting Wednesday 10 August, 2005
Udinese could not have asked for a better start to their European adventure, as Vincenzo Iaquinta's penalty sunk Sporting in Lisbon.
The Friuli outfit entered its first ever Champions League match as the underdogs, travelling to Portuguese giants Sporting Lisbon without injured stars David Di Michele and Giampiero Pinzi.
Nonetheless, Serse Cosmi’s men had a bright start and rattled the crossbar with Vincent Candela’s long-range effort after just three minutes.
Sporting were dominating the overall early play and Deivid De Souza’s effort was deflected off target at the end of a fine team move, then Morgan De Sanctis had his palms stung by a Sa Pinto piledriver.
Udinese concentrated on the counter-attack and it paid off after 27 minutes when Miguel Garcia clumsily hacked down ex-Treviso star Barreto just inside the box, making the penalty kick inevitable. Vincenzo Iaquinta stepped up and buried the penalty past Ricardo to give the Italians a shock lead in Lisbon.
De Sanctis was again tested soon after, at full stretch to tip Rodrigo Tello’s free kick round the near post. Anderson Polga’s header was over the bar and Sulley Ali Muntari charged down another effort from the Brazilian.
There was bad news for Udinese on the stroke of half-time, as Barreto did not recover from the knock he took during that penalty incident and made way for former Sporting Lisbon midfielder Jose Luis Vidigal.
It should nonetheless have been 2-0 going into the break, as a searching Antonio Di Natale pass found Iaquinta only for Beto and Ricardo to crowd him out as he prepared to shoot from eight yards. De Sanctis had the last word of an entertaining half, tipping Custodio's fierce strike over the bar.
The fiery Lisbon crowd led penalty appeals for Cesare Natali’s challenge on Liedson, but the referee waved play on, then last year’s beaten UEFA Cup Finalists saw Rogerio’s goal disallowed for an offside position.
Cosmi tried to sneak another goal late on by introducing attacking midfielder Stefano Mauri for defensive rock Muntari.
Sporting were increasing the pressure and Sa Pinto thumped the upright with a sudden snapshot from a tricky angle, then Douala was clearly offside when he tapped in the loose ball from six yards. Silva’s chipped pass struck Natali on the arm inside the area, but it was unintentional and the defender’s hand was right alongside his torso.
The final stages were more dangerous for Udinese, as Moutinho struck the side-netting, Liedson curled inches wide and the home side dominated possession, but Cosmi’s men hung on for this remarkable result.
There were worrying scenes in stoppages when Valerio Bertotto suffered a large cut to his brow following a clash of heads with Sa Pinto. The veteran defender was stretchered off as medics attempted to stem the bleeding. Playing in 10 men, they survived a late scare with Anderson Polga drilling wide from 10 yards.
The second leg will be played at the Stadio Friuli on August 23 and will decide whether Udinese can enter the Champions League proper for the first time in their history.
Sporting 0-1 Udinese
Scorers: Iaquinta pen 28 (U)
Sporting Lisbon: Ricardo; Miguel Garcia (Rogerio 58), Polga, Beto, Tello; Custodio (Nani 73); Moutinho, Sa Pinto, Douala; Liedson, Deivid (Silva 79)
Udinese: De Sanctis; Bertotto, Natali, Felipe; Zenoni, Obodo, Muntari (Mauri 72), Candela; Di Natale (Rossini 82); Iaquinta, Barreto (Vidigal 44)
Ref: Vassaras (Gre)
My heart = INTER...No Matter Win or Lose...
Zanetti : I still remember my first day at Inter. I arrived with a plastic bag with my boots inside and I crossed the crowd of fans who were asking who I was. That's where it all started.....