LOCARNO – One goal from Cambiasso and two from Palacio allowed Inter to end their pre-season for the summer of 2012 with another friendly win. At the Stadio del Lido in Locarno, Switzerland the Nerazzurri earned a 3-0 victory against Tunisia’s Club Athletique Bizertin. The four-time champions of Tunisia, founded in 1928, were wearing their traditional yellow and black shirts. It was an exciting atmosphere inside the stadium, both on the pitch and in the stands.
Without Handanovic, who underwent a meniscus operation yesterday, Stramaccioni rested Ranocchia, Guarin and Longo. Between the posts was Castellazzi and Silvestre and Juan Jesus were the surprise choices in central defence.
FIRST HALF – Wearing red, Inter took the opening kick-off and needed only 56 seconds to make their presence felt; exploiting an error in the Tunisian defence, Coutinho took the ball from the opponents and shot on the turn with his right, but keeper Ben Mustapha was rescued by his right-hand post. After 9 minutes Bizertin showed signs of life when Libyan forward Zuway – in an offside position that went unnoticed by the assistant referee – leapt to trap the ball off his chest before attempting to dribble past Castellazzi, who did well to dive and snatch up the ball.
On 14 minutes Cambiasso celebrated his birthday in the best way possible; Maicon’s through ball found Palacio who then cut back for Cuchu to thump a left-footer from the edge of the box and make it 0-1 to Inter. Maicon had the possibility to add a second five minutes later when his header from Palacio’s cross just missed the target. In the 31st minute Sneijder’s chipped assist found Palacio, who controlled with his left before beating Ben Mustapha at the far post with his right. After a minute of injury time both teams went to the dressing rooms with the Nerazzurri leading 0-2.
SECOND HALF – Inter came back onto the pitch with four changes to their line-up and a determination to add to their advantage. Kanzari, however, made only two changes and was nearly jumping for joy in the 59th minute when he witnessed Mbenguey beat Duncan before finding Zaayim, whose powerful shot from outside the box sailed just high. On 64 minutes Palacio bagged his second goal of the match; Livaja’s low cross for Milito saw El Principe’s shot rejected by Ben Mustapha, but the rebound fell nicely for El Trenza, who easily tucked the ball away for Inter’s 3rd goal as well as his 5th of the pre-season campaign.
After 2 minutes of injury time Gut whistled to end the match. It was the Nerazzurri’s last summer friendly of 2012 as they now focus on their upcoming challenge on 23 August in Romania against Vaslui in the first leg play-off of the Europa League, followed by their Serie A opener against Pescara at the Stadio Adriatico on 26 August.
C.A. Bizertin 0-3 Inter (HT: 0-2)
Scorers: Cambiasso 14, Palacio 31, 64.
C.A. Bizertin: 1 Ben Mustapha; 4 Kaderi (Jabeur 78), 7 Mhadhbi, 8 Harran (Salhi 71), 10 Hadhria (Sdiri 54), 13 Ben Hadj Mabrouk (Jaziri 78), 14 Mathlouthi, 17 Mbenguey, 18 Slama (Zaayim 54), 19 Zuway (Harbaoui 70) 33 Ben Amor.
Unused subs: 16 Bejaoui, 22 Brik, 2 Mamut, 9 Harbaoui, 11 Rjeibi, 31 Ouerguemmi.
Coach: Maher Kanzari.
Inter: 12 Castellazzi; 13 Maicon (Jonathan 64), 6 Silvestre, 40 Juan Jesus (Bianchetti 73), 55 Nagatomo (Samuel 46); 4 Zanetti (Duncan 46), 19 Cambiasso (Benassi 72), 16 Mudingayi (Acampora 86); 10 Sneijder (Livaja 46), 7 Coutinho (Milito 46); 8 Palacio (Forte 78).
Unused subs: 27 Belec, 32 Cincilla.
Coach: Andrea Stramaccioni.
Referee: Gut Luca (Giubiasco).
Assistants: Jobin Vital, De Almeida Stéphane.
Fourth official: Bianchi Simone.
Added time: 1 + 2 minutes.