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Inter edge seven-goal thriller

Published: Friday 26 March 2004, 0.25CET
FC Internazionale 4-3 SL Benfica (agg: 4-3) Alberto Zaccheroni's side squeeze into the quarter-finals.

Match statistics

InternazionaleBenfica

Goals scored4
 
3
Attempts on target4
 
3
Attempts off target0
 
0
Corners0
 
0
Offsides0
 
0
Fouls committed0
 
0
Yellow cards1
 
0
Red cards0
 
0

Standings

 
Published: Friday 26 March 2004, 0.25CET

Inter edge seven-goal thriller

FC Internazionale 4-3 SL Benfica (agg: 4-3) Alberto Zaccheroni's side squeeze into the quarter-finals.

FC Internazionale edged out SL Benfica in a thrilling UEFA Cup fourth round second-leg match at the San Siro to earn a quarter-final meeting with Olympique de Marseille.

Second-half drama
The visitors took the lead through Nuno Gomes before Obafemi Martins hit a first-half equaliser. The game really came to life on the hour with the introduction of Alvaro Recoba, as he scored one before providing Christian Vieri with the third. Nuno Gomes added a second before Martins struck again, only for Tiago to ensure a tense finish by making it 4-3.

Opening goal
On 36 minutes Benfica took the lead, catapulting what had been a cagey game into life. Tiago found Nuno Gomes with a short pass and the Portuguese international set himself before shooting low into the goal off Francesco Toldo's right-hand post.

Martins denied
Gomes then hit the same post with a side-footed effort after good work from Armando, but this time it went behind for a goal-kick. Then, just six minutes after the opener, Martins had the ball in the net, but the strike was disallowed for a foul by Vieri in the build up. The burly Italian international was adjudged to have fouled Ricardo Rocha as they competed for an aerial ball.

Simple finish
Martins did get his goal in the end however, as Inter equalised in first-half stoppage time. All the credit went to Giorgios Karagounis though, as the Greek midfield player's winding run down the by-line took him past several Inter defenders and a sprawling Moriera to give Martins a simple tap-in.

Recoba impact
The second half started quietly, before a whirlwind of four goals in ten minutes. The game changed with the introduction of the mercurial Recoba for Okan Buruk on 59 minutes. The Uruguayan star made a profound impact as he put the hosts in front a minute later. Javier Zanetti's crossfield pass was cleverly left by Vieri, buying Recoba the time to shoot across Moriera and in from the edge of the box.

Rampant Inter
Inter were rampant and on 64 minutes they grabbed a splendid second. Martins launched a counterattack down the right by finding Recoba in space. He looked up and fired a crossfield pass to Vieri, who chested down before blasting a ferocious volley into the net.

Benfica determined
Benfica refused to give in though and turned what looked like an easy ride for Inter into a thrilling finale. First Nuno Gomes slid in to grab a second from close range, before Martins struck again from a Recoba pass to restore Inter's two-goal cushion.

Tense finish
However, José Antonio Camacho's side were still not deterred and Tiago made it 4-3 on 77 minutes after a smart one-two with substitute Tomislav Šokota. A fourth would have put Benfica into the quarter-finals on away goals but Inter held out to go through, and now visit Marseille on 8 April before a return here six days later.

Last updated: 26/03/04 10.07CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/season=2003/matches/round=1721/match=74507/postmatch/report/index.html#inter+edge+seven+goal+thriller

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