Saturday, August 8, 2009

Rocchi Leads Lazio to 2-1 Shocker Over Inter Milan in the SuperCoppa

For the first time since 2000, S.S. Lazio has lifted the Italian SuperCoppa after a shocking 2-1 victory over Inter Milan at the Bird's Nest in Beijing, China. Like the Community Shield in England, the SuperCoppa kicks off the Serie A season by pitting the winner of the Scudetto and the winner of the Copa Italia in an exhibition match. In light of the 2010 World Cup finals set to begin in South Africa next June, Italy moved the SuperCoppa up a week so that it fell on the same weekend as the Community Shield.

Coming into today's match, most pundits expected Inter Milan, who beat Roma on penalty kicks in last year's SuperCoppa, to beat a Lazio side that has struggled to get a sniff of the top of the table in recent seasons. Despite dominating the match, Inter was unable to stop two Lazio goals that occurred in the span of 3 minutes in the second half.

Francelino Matuzalem, who had a nice shot on goal early in the match, managed to get the ball into the net when Julio Cesar clearance bounced off of Matuzalem's face in the 63rd minute. Three minutes later a cross from Matuzalem to the chest of Lazio Captain Tommaso Rocchi, who had beaten the offside trap, knocked a nice shot past Cezar, giving the Biancelesti the winning goal.

Inter's newly acquired Samuel Eto'o picked up Inter's only goal in the 78th minute.

The question now is whether today's SuperCoppa will have any effect on how either of these sides approach the 2009-2010 Serie A season which begins next weekend. Inter is looking to defend the Scudetto and make more headway in the Champions League, while Lazio is looking to finish, at the very least, in an Europa League spot.

On the weekend of August 22nd Inter will host newly promoted Bari, while Lazio hosts the always difficult Atalanta.

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