Recoba is hero of Inter win


The sporting Gods got the script wrong. Internazionale's seasonal debut against Brescia at the San Siro yesterday did indeed see them rescued from a humiliating home defeat thanks to two brilliantly taken goals in the last 10 minutes from a newly acquired foreigner. However, it was the wrong foreigner.

The hero of this 2-1 win was not the much-vaunted Brazilian Ronaldo, making his Italian league debut, but rather the Uruguayan Alvaro Recoba. Ronaldo's debut was indeed something of a disappointment but, to be fair to the Brazilian, this was not entirely his fault.

Against the modest Brescia, a side destined to struggle to guarantee Serie A survival, Inter looked embarrassingly limited, managing to create not a single clear goal-scoring chance for Ronaldo.

Inevitably, Inter dominated the game, but their goal-scoring chances tended to fall to the feet of the midfielders, Frenchman Youri Djorkaeff and Argentine Diego Simeone.

Inter, too, were for long frustrated by Brescia's ex-AS Roma goalkeeper Giovanni Cervone, who also saved Ronaldo's best effort of the game when turning the 67th minute free-kick by the Brazilian onto the bar. As time went by, and as some of the Inter fans began to jeer their side, the worst Inter nightmare then realised itself when 30-year-old Dario Hubner (whose transfer fee from Cesena to Brescia this summer cost one-twenty-fifth of the celebrated Ronaldo transfer from Barcelona) neatly controlled a good pass from Andrea Pirlo before turning quickly in the penalty area to hit a spectacular 73rd minute goal.

Just when the headline writers were preparing to announce the imminent sacking of the Inter coach Gigi Simoni, on came Recoba. Brought on as a substitute for Maurizio Ganz in the 71st minute, Recoba had been on the pitch only eight minutes when, picking up a loose ball outside the Brescia penalty area and wide on the left, he struck a spectacular 30yard shot that left Cervone with no chance.

Eight minutes later, Recoba struck yet again hitting another spectacular long-range left foot power-driver, again from outside the penalty area but this time from a free kick.