INTER WIN CLUB WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
As expected, last season's champions Inter Milan have defended their Club World Championship crown. The Nerazzurri, qualifying for the tournament after a dramatic UEFA Champions League win last year following Emerson Luiz's last-minute heroics, proved again that European football is still on top of the world.
In the semifinals, Inter were drawn against Mexican side Club America, who represented the CONCACAF region. Bergomi opted to give 18 year old goalkeeper Silvano Casella his career debut in goal, as well as starting fellow young Italian Simone Pierguidi alongside Luiz.
From first whistle to last, Inter dominated the match, amassing 60% of the possession and 15 shots to Club America's 3 (none of which were on target). 40 minutes into the game, Mattia Destro gave his side the lead by getting on the end of a delightfully swerving cross from Raheem Sterling, poking home at the far post.
Rogerio had a chance to make it 2-0 from the penalty spot after Coutinho was felled int he area, but put his effort wide just seconds before half time. Jan Kirchhoff eventually did stretch the advantage to 2 goals after he poked home a rebound from a corner kick, scoring his second goal in as many matches and his third on the season. The match finished 2-0.
Inter Milan went on to face Corinthians, from Brazil, in the final. Goalkeeper Casella was given his second start after keeping a clean sheet in game one (no, he didn't face a shot on target!), but Lorenzo Insigne, Ignazio Milici, Andrea Ranocchia, Lucas Digne, and Giuseppe Bellusci were introduced to the starting lineup.
The Nerazzurri were again in the ascendancy but were blanked in the first half. Just five minutes into the second, though, Lucas Digne broke down the left flank and whipped in a cross to the near post for Mattia Destro to nod into the back post for his second goal of the tournament.
In injury time, though, Corinthians snatched on back. Or so they thought. However, Kleber's stunning bullet header was waived off for offsides, though replays later showed the call to be incorrect, with Ranocchia keeping the striker onside. Midfielder Ralf was shown his second yellow card for protesting and was sent off. The match finished 1-0, and the captain Ranocchia hoisted the trophy.
"Obviously this isn't the Scudetto or the Champions League, but we want to win every trophy," said a content Bergomi after the match. "We put in some good performances, and we have again tasted success and whet our appetite for trophies. And believe me, more trophies are coming."