ABU DHABI - European champions Inter Milan
overcame the early injury of Wesley Sneijder to book their place
in the Club World Cup final with a 3-0 win over Seongnam of
South Korea on Wednesday.
Inter will meet surprise packages TP Mazembe of DR Congo on
Saturday after the African champions upset Internacional of
Brazil 2-0 to become the first team from outside Europe or South
America to reach the final.
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Dutch midfielder Sneijder pulled a thigh muscle when tackled
in the second minute and was replaced by Thiago Motta in the
"To lose Sneijder early was not easy. We had to readjust,"
coach Rafael Benitez told reporters. "He has a pulled muscle,
It's unlikely he'll get to the final."
However, a third-minute goal by midfielder Dejan Stankovic
settled Inter into a counter-attacking game.
Samuel Eto'o crossed low from the left and defender Cho
Byung-kuk, trying to stop Diego Milito from taking the ball,
pushed it into the path of Stankovic who fired into the net.
Captain Javier Zanetti scored a fine second goal just past
the half hour, racing into the box and taking a return
backheeled pass from Milito to fire home.
The third came from Milito in the 73rd. Eto'o shot from the
left, goalkeeper Jung Sung-ryong parried and the Argentina
striker controlled with his chest and knocked the ball in as
Seongnam called in vain for handball.
Benitez said it was good to have Milito available again
after his absence and that of other injured players had made for
a difficult early season for Inter following the glory of three
trophies under Jose Mourinho last season.
"With Milito as the reference point for the attack it
becomes easier for the others and for me," he told a news
The Asian champions will play for third place against
Seongnam came closest in the first half when tall
Montenegrin striker Dzenan Radoncic's header from Colombian
Mauricio Molina's free-kick was tipped over by Julio Cesar.
The Brazilian went down to a hard free-kick from Seongnam's
Australian captain Sasa Ognenovski and Radoncic was left with an
open goal but shot just wide.
Seongnam's coach Shin Tae-yong said Inter's winning margin
did not worry him and he was happy with the way his team had
played in attack.
"I'm not focusing on the goals but how we played. We could
have defended better," he said.
"Inter are a level above us."
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