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Inter Milan tops AS Roma, 2-0, at Lincoln Financial Field

By Tim McManus, The Philadelphia Inquirer
McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

Aug. 03--AS Roma made itself at home in Philadelphia last week while Inter Milan camped in Washington, D.C.

The Giallorossi climbed the Art Museum steps and posed like Rocky. They held semisecret training sessions just off the Schuylkill Expressway at Penn'sRhodes Field. Charismatic manager Rudi Garcia held court at the Ritz Carlton.

The home advantage, however, did not extend to game day. Inter spoiled the party with a 2-0 victory in front of 12,169 at Lincoln Financial Field.

The barnstorming clubs from Italy's Serie A met as part of the International Champions Cup. Both teams needed a win to remain alive for a berth in Monday's final in Miami.

"The mentality of the team is to raise to the top of the European leagues," Inter manager Walter Mazzarri said. "When our performance is good, like today, it helps us build self-esteem for the beginning of league play."

The tour, which brought together top teams from leagues in Italy, Spain, England, and Greece, is less about winning the title than preparing the teams for their upcoming seasons. Both teams substituted liberally and used the chance to work in new players.

One of those newcomers, Nemenja Vidic, gave Inter a 1-0 lead just before the half.

The unmarked defender headed home Dodo's slicing free kick from the left side in the 45th minute. Vidic is playing his first games with Inter since leaving Manchester United, his home for eight seasons.

Roma, which, like Inter, hopes to challenge Juventus in Serie A, also was blending in some new pieces. The club remade its defense, signing Ashley Cole from Chelsea and recently landing Davide Astori on loan from Cagliari. He trained with the team Thursday at Penn for the first time.

World Cup veterans Daniele De Rossi and Miralem Pjanic were in the starting lineup for Roma. Cole and captain Francesco Totti came on in the 62d minute.

The cavalry did not save Roma. Shortly after Cole and Totti entered, Japanese national Yuto Nagatomo put the game away with an insurance goal.

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Roma's best -- and perhaps only -- chance came in the opening minute of the second half. Mattia Destro's header from six yards out went just wide right of the goal.

"Just about everything went wrong today," Roma's manager, Garcia, said. "We played without pace, without energy, without dynamism."

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