ROME - Inter Milan's Dejan Stankovic
struck a ferocious drive to give the holders a 1-0 win at AS
Roma in their Italian Cup semi-final first leg on Tuesday.
The Serbia midfielder, who has made a habit of scoring long
range efforts, let fly from 25 metres just before half-time with
a shot that swerved into the top corner of the net.
Stankovic also had a second-half appeal for a penalty turned
down when the ball hit Daniele De Rossi's arm in the box.
The win was a boost for Inter and coach Leonardo after they
were dumped out of the Champions League as holders in the last
eight by Schalke 04 and lost 2-0 at Parma on Saturday to all but
surrender their Serie A title after five straight scudettos.
Roma, who visit Inter for the second leg on May 11, should
have opened the scoring after 10 minutes but forward Mirko
Vucinic missed a sitter as they went on to lose their second
successive game since a U.S. consortium agreed a takeover.
Inter were without injured forward Samuel Eto'o but included
right back Maicon, who was mysteriously left out of the Parma
game with Leonardo refusing to give a reason. Thiago Motta, also
dropped for the Parma defeat, was not in the squad.
Inter and Roma have clashed in five of the last six Italian
Cup finals with Inter winning last term on the way to a treble.
Serie A leaders AC Milan, bidding for their first league and
cup double, host Palermo in the second semi-final first leg on
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