Paris Saint-Germain defeats Inter Milan
ABS-CBN Sports on Jul 25, 2016 10:13 AM
Inter Milan forward Rodrigo Palacio (8), left, winds up to cross the ball under defensive pressure by Paris Saint-Germain defender Presnel Kimpembe (3), right, during an International Champions Cup match in Eugene, Ore., Sunday, July 24, 2016. (Adam Eberhardt/The Register-Guard via AP)
ANNE M. PETERSON
AP Sports Writer
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Serge Aurier scored twice and Paris Saint-Germain beat Inter Milan 3-1 on Sunday at the University of Oregon's Autzen Stadium.
Layvin Kurzawa also scored for PSG on a stunning free kick in the 61st minute in the International Champions Cup match. Stevan Jovetic scored for Inter Milan on a penalty kick in stoppage time following the first half.
Autzen Stadium, the home football field of the Oregon Ducks, hosted the match, part of the International Champions Cup. Real grass was laid down on the artificial turf field, obscuring the yellow 'O' at midfield. Attendance was announced at 24,147.
The International Champions Cup is an exhibition tournament involving 17 teams playing on four different continents. It serves a tuneup for the regular season.
Inter Milan was coming off a 2-1 victory over Real Salt Lake earlier in the week in Utah. Striker Mauro Icardi played in that match, and was given the day off against PSG.
The game was played amid rumors that Inter Milan manager Roberto Mancini might resign. Afterward he said that "nothing has changed compared to two days ago, we'll see."
As for the match itself, Mancini said: "We played for 60 minutes with the senior players and afterward it was difficult."
Paris Saint-Germain, which beat West Bromwich Albion 2-1 its last time out on July 14 in Austria, is embarking on its first season under Unai Emery, who took over for Laurnet Blanc.
"As a team, of course we played to win," Emery said through a translator. "It was important as a team that we built the confidence of the players. It was great that we won, but the most important part is that we actually start building the team and create the confidence that we want with the team."
In addition to the new manager, PSG will also need to adjust to the departure of enigmatic forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who signed with Manchester United earlier this month.
Ibrahimovic had 38 goals in 31 French league games last season, helping PSG to a fourth successive title. On Sunday midfielder Javier Pastore wore No. 10.
Angel Di Maria, Edinson Cavani and Thomas Meunier entered as subs for Paris Saint-Germain in the second half.
"The important part was that we had the participation of all the players, especially the senior ones," Emery said. "And of course all the new players that we have, it's good to see how they are performing because it's not always easy to see how they are performing as new players on a team with so much weight on them."
Di Maria had just returned to his club team earlier in the week after taking some time off following the Copa America tournament. He played for his native Argentina in the final, which Chile won on penalty kicks.
David Luiz apparently did not make the trip to Eugene from Los Angeles, where PSG was training.
Aurier, who played in the 2014 World Cup for his native Ivory Coast, left-footed the rebound of a free kick off goalkeeper Samir Handanovic into the bottom left corner in the 14th minute.
Inter Milan evened it on Jovetic's penalty kick into the top right corner in extra time following the first half. The penalty was awarded when Lucas Moura was called for a handball.
Aurier had a good chance in the 57th minute but his shot hit the crossbar. A few minutes later, Kurzawa struck a perfectly placed free kick that Handanovic couldn't reach that put PSG in front.
Aurier's second goal was a header off a cross from Alec Georgen in the 87th minute.
Temperatures during the match were in the mid-80s, necessitating water breaks.