Inter were impeccable from the spot, as they drew 1-1 with Valencia thanks to a Matteo Politano penalty and then won the Trofeo Naranja in a shoot-out.
The Mestalla hosted the traditional pre-season Trofeo Naranja clash and this time Antonio Conte’s Nerazzurri were invited. Lautaro Martinez had his first start after an extended vacation due to the Copa America, but Diego Godin, Valentino Lazaro and new signing Romelu Lukaku didn’t make the trip, along with transfer-listed Ivan Perisic, Mauro Icardi and Joao Mario.
It was a bright start from Valencia, as Carlos Soler clipped the outside of the upright within a couple of minutes following a defensive error, then Samir Handanovic used his legs to parry from Kevin Gameiro.
The hosts took the lead just before half-time when Soler was left totally unmarked for a diving header from six yards on the chipped up Goncalo Guedes assist.
Stefano Sensi and Nicolò Barella had excellent first touches on long balls, but were unable to turn them into genuine scoring opportunities.
Former Inter flop Geoffrey Kondogbia came on for the second half and was determined to make an impression, stinging Handanovic’s gloves from distance within 30 seconds.
Gameiro and Lautaro Martinez tested the goalkeepers from distance, but Inter finally found an equaliser when teenage substitute Sebastiano Esposito was brought down by Denis Cheryshev on a Matias Vecino assist. Politano stepped up and converted the penalty.
Vecino and Ferran Torres had late chances, but above all Stefan de Vrij had to scramble back for a goal-line clearance on Cheryshev in the final minute.
That meant at 1-1, the game went to penalties to assign the Trofeo Naranja. They were very good spot-kicks, as Kang-In Lee, Roberto Gagliardini, Ferran Torres, Vecino, Cheryshev, Federico Dimarco, Maxi Gomez, Esposito, Dani Parejo, Samuele Longo, Kondogbia and Kwadwo Asamoah all converted, but Ezequiel Garay blasted over the bar.
Alessandro Bastoni held his nerve to score the decisive spot-kick and Inter take the trophy.
Valencia 1-1 Inter (7-8 on pens)
Soler 38 (V), Politano pen 82 (I)
Inter: Handanovic; D’Ambrosio, De Vrij, Skriniar (Bastoni 70); Candreva (Dimarco 83), Sensi (Gagliardini 70), Brozovic (Borja Valero 83), Barella (Vecino 70), Dalbert (Asamoah 70); Lautaro Martinez (Esposito 70), Politano (Longo 83)
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