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Inter Milan win Italian Cup football championship

Written by: Staff

MILAN, May 12: Inter Milan has won the Italian Cup after a 3-1 second-leg win gave them a 4-2 aggregate win over AS Roma.

First-half goals from Argentines Esteban Cambiasso and Julio Cruz gave Inter a clear advantage before Nigerian Obafemi Martins added the third in the 76th minute. Congolese forward Shabani Nonda pulled a goal back for Roma in the 80th minute last night.

Inter's fifth Italian Cup win follows their triumph in the competition last season and offers some compensation for another season in which they failed to mount a serious bid for the league title they have not won since 1989.

''I'm glad for the lads, there have been a few disappointments in the last few months and they deserve this,'' said Inter coach Roberto Mancini, who claimed his 10th Italian Cup as a player and coach.

However Inter's fans did not appear to agree with their coach -- the 'ultras' walked out of their home in the North stand before the end of the game leaving behind a giant slogan declaring: ''Half of a little Cup does not restore your dignity''.

Roma's consolation came in the return to action of their captain Francesco Totti who had not played since he broke his ankle in a Serie A game against Empoli on February. 19.

The Roma forward, a key part of Italy coach's Marcello Lippi's World Cup squad, came on as a 53rd-minute substitute but by that time Roma were already 2-0 down on the night.

''Francesco didn't have a full game in him yet and unfortunately when he came on it was already very difficult for us. He looked sharp though,'' said Roma coach Luciano Spalletti.

Roma were without Brazilian forward Rodrigo Taddei and midfielder Simone Perotta, who were suspended, and were also missing several players through injury.

Cambiasso opened the scoring in spectacular fashion in the sixth minute with a thundering volley from the edge of the area after he had been picked out by compatriot Javier Zanetti.

Just before the break, Cruz made it 2-0 with a fine solo goal, dribbling into the area and rounding Roma's Brazilian keeper Doni before slotting into the unguarded goal.

Totti's retur}n almost brought a goal when the Italy international drove just wide in the 68th minute but Inter extended their advantage when, after some confusion in the Roma defence, Cruz set up substitute Martins who slotted past Doni.

Nonda's headed goal was far too late to prompt a genuine revival and Roma now have to focus on the final game of the season, back at the San Siro, where they need to beat AC Milan and hope Fiorentina lose at Chievo if they are to get fourth place and a spot in the qualifying round of the Champions League.


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