Vidic, Nagatomo help lift Inter past Roma in International Champions Cup
Inter Milan positioned themselves to reach the 2014 International Champions Cup final by beating AS Roma 2-0 in Philadelphia on Saturday. The result on the final day of group play put them top of Group A, leapfrogging Manchester United, which was to play Real Madrid later in the day. Nemanja Vidic and Yuto Nagatomo got the goals.
In one of the most uneventful halves in memory, Roma and Inter produced next to no soccer of note during the opening act. They canceled each other out in a slow game that got caught in a midfield slog. At length, Vidic connected on a Dodo free kick from the wing, deftly deflecting the ball past Lukasz Skorupski with his head in the 45th minute.
The second half brought a tad more entertainment as both teams improved ball circulation and started to find spaces between the lines and behind the other team. Just two minutes after the half, Alessandro Florenzi whipped in a sharp cross for Mattia Destro.
But the Roma striker somehow nodded his header wide when it was probably easier to put it past the beaten goalkeeper. Roma kept up its assault. And in the 58th minute, Radja Nainggolan ripped an unexpected shot just wide from outside the box.
In the end, Inter put the game away. Vidic headed just over on a corner in the 64th minute. And then, not long after, a low cross skipped to Nagatomo at the other end of the penalty area. The unmarked right back summarily rammed it in off the underside of the crossbar.
Roma got another fine chance late, in the 85th minute. Antonio Sanabria combined well with Francesco Totti and was sprung by the old master’s through ball. But, facing Juan Pablo Carrizo one-on-one, he smacked his finish right at the goalkeeper. And so Roma were eliminated while Inter stays alive in the tournament, awaiting United’s result.