Inter beats Mazembe 3-0 to win Club World Cup
Inter Milan won the Club World Cup on Saturday, defeating TP
Mazembe 3-0 to end the surprising run by the African champion.
Inter, the European champions, won its fifth title of the year
and second for coach Rafa Benitez.
Inter jumped to a 2-0 lead on goals by Goran Pandev in the 13th
minute and Samuel Eto’o in the 17th. Eto’o, the player of the
tournament, has 19 goals in 23 games for Inter but this was his
first since Nov. 21. Joseph Biabiany completed the scoring in the
In the third-place match, Internacional beat Seongnam Ilhwa of
South Korea 4-2.
Inter captured its third world club title following success in
1964 and 1965. It added to this year’s sweep of the Italian league
cup and Champions League under Jose Mourinho, plus the Italian
Supercup to start this season.
Benitez’s job security has been in question with his defending
champion team in seventh place in Italy. Club president Massimo
Moratti gave Benitez an ultimatum to win the Club World Cup.
”From my side, there is no problem,” Benitez said. ”I am very
happy. I’m a professional who works 100 percent for the club. I
want the support which I haven’t gotten so far. That’s all. If we
have new players, I’m sure the club will improve
Many Inter players singled out Mourinho, rather than Benitez,
for the team’s success. Mourinho now coaches Real Madrid.
”It was a truly extraordinary and unforgettable year. Let’s
hope everyone remains fit for the rest of the season,” striker
Diego Milito said. ”It is thanks to Mourinho that we were able to
arrive to this point. He remains important to us.”
Mazembe defeated Copa Libertadores champion Internacional of
Brazil in the semifinals. The team from Congo looked rattled in the
first half and didn’t settle into the game until the final 20
minutes when striker Dioko Kaluuyituka had several chances.
Inter could have had even more goals in the first half if not
for the play of Mazembe goalkeeper Muteba Kidiaba, who twice denied
Milito at close range.
The African club was unable to break down the Inter defense and
several players became frustrated, picking up yellow cards. In one
instance, Amia Ekanga clearly dived in the penalty area in an
attempt to get a penalty kick, then jumped up and ran straight into
an Inter player. He fell to the ground clutching his face, a show
that drew the team’s third yellow card of the half.
Coach Lamine N’Diaye, a former Senegalese player, took over the
team midway through its African Champions League season.
”The team was tired and exhausted,” he said. ”We needed one
more day for rest to retain our fitness. Inter was better than us
and they deserved to win.”