09 agosto 2006

AC Milan defeats Red Star Belgrade

After going crazy for Italia in WC 2006 (for the record, I've been a fan since 1994, but this was the best one, as I actually had the time and discipline to watch all of the games), I have decided to follow a team in Serie A, the premier Italian league where most Italians play.

Deciding on a team was pretty tough. I had a Juventus shirt from when I was 15, but they got demoted to Serie B, so, no. Also there is Inter Milan, who has cool uniforms. And AS Roma, who is not as good, but if I go to Rome next year, it would be cool to root for the home team. Also, there was AC Milan. This team has awesome players in their lineup, especially a few who I really got to like in WC 2006: Gilardino, Nesta, Pirlo and Gattuso from Italia. They also have Inzaghi, Maldini, and Costacurta who I remembered from past world cups. And then, 3 amazing Brazilians: Dida in goal, Cafu on defense, and Kaka in midfield.

The deal was cemented when I was down at Bush Gardens in VA a few weeks ago, and found them selling Italian Soccer Jerseys (how random?!), which I really wanted. They had Inter, Juve, and Milan. The only XXL (Euro sizes) jersey with an Italian player (others were Adriano, Ibrahimovic, Schevchenko, etc) was that of Gilardino, #11 on AC Milan. I bought the jersey and the team got a new tifoso.

So, I'll be keeping my site updated with AC Milan's progress. Right now they are qualifyign for the Champion's League tourney in Europe, and they won their first game. Filippo Inzaghi scored the game's only goal, and it was his 33rd birthday! How cool! :)

Anyway, to the recap:

Inzaghi birthday strike gives Milan narrow lead
By Simon Evans

MILAN, Aug 9 (Reuters) - AC Milan striker Filippo Inzaghi celebrated his 33rd birthday with the goal that secured a 1-0 win over Red Star Belgrade in their Champions League third qualifying round, first leg match on Wednesday.

Despite Inzaghi's 22nd minute strike the six-times European champions still have a lot of work to do in the return match in two weeks' time in the Serbian capital.

Milan, who originally finished runners-up in Serie A last season, found themselves in the Champions League qualifying round after being demoted to third place by an Italian sports tribunal that examined a match-rigging scandal.

UEFA cleared Milan to face Red Star due to a lack of legal grounds to exclude them but European soccer's governing body scolded the Italian club in a statement that spoke of the damage they had "already caused to European football".

Red Star gave the home side an early scare when Blagoj Georgiev was picked out unmarked inside the area but Milan's Brazilian goalkeeper Dida saved well.

Brazilian Kaka then went close for Milan before providing the pass that allowed Inzaghi to confidently strike home from inside the area to put Carlo Ancelotti's side ahead.

Milan had chances after the break but Red Star keeper Ivan Randjelovic was in top form as he twice foiled Alberto Gilardino and kept out an effort from Dutchman Clarence Seedorf to ensure the Serbians have everything to play for in the second leg.


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