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Inter Milan Primavera reach TIM Cup final

Second-half goal propels Nerazzurri to face Fiorentina in finals.

Courtesy of Inter Milan

A second-half goal by Nicolo Zaniolo lifted Inter Milan to a 1-0 win over Juventus in the semifinals of the Primavera TIM Cup in Sassuolo Wednesday.

Zaniolo found the back of the net in the 49th minute to put the Nerazzurri in the final where they will face Fiorentina for the third time – after facing them in last season’s Scudetto and the Viareggio Cup earlier this season.

Inter Milan will take on the Viola at 2:45 p.m. (ET) Saturday, June 9 in the finals.

“We deserved it, it was an excellent team performance today,” Zaniolo said, according to the club website. “We showed that we have a great mentality, fighting for every ball just like the boss always asks of us.”

The first half started under the cover of rain, but not without a shortage of opportunities as Inter goalkeeper Marco Pissardo was called into action early but was able to push away an early attempt by Juventus.

Courtesy of Inter Milan

In the 16th minute, Mouhamed Belkheir nearly gave Inter the lead with a rebound shot, but it found the post rather than the back of the net. Juventus goalkeeper Mattia Del Favero was able to push away the first attempt and Belkheir nearly had a wide open shot at goal, but came up wide.

Juventus midfielder Leandro Fernandes had an attempt in the 31st minute, but his shot also went wide in the 31st minute.

Matteo Rover replaced Belkheir to start the second half for Inter and Xian Emmers nearly connected with a right-footed effort in the 48th minute, but his connection went wide.

A minute later, Zaniolo headed home what would be the winner off a corner set piece.

Juventus nearly tied the game in the 54th minute when Marco Oliveri gave a right-footed delivery that also went wide of goal.

“After the break, we played well while they looked a bit short of breath,” said Inter head coach Stefano Vecchi, according to the club website. “In general, we gave up very little to a side that always knows how to pose a threat. We were always alert, well-organised and aggressive.”

Zaniolo and Emmers each had scoring opportunities in the 63rd and 72nd minutes, respectively, but both failed to connect.

In the 79th minute, Juventus midfielder Riccardo Capellini had a solid look in front of Pissardo, but his attempt was too strong and sailed over the goal. Alessandro Di Pardo had a chance to level the match in the 89th minute, but Pissardo was able to dive in for the save.

Just as the five minutes of stoppage time was over, referee Matteo Marchetti issued a red card to Oliveri for dissent, disqualifying him from Juventus’ next match.

The Nerazzurri will have one more match to claim the Primavera TIM Cup.

“We know them well, they’re an excellent team and they’ve had a truly great season,” Vecchi said.

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