Brandao sends Marseille into Champions quarters
MILAN (AP) -- Substitute Brandao's stoppage-time goal sent Marseille through to the Champions League quarterfinals at the expense of Inter Milan despite a 2-1 loss on Tuesday.
Inter Milan striker Diego Milito canceled out Marseille's 1-0 lead from the first leg in the 75th minute and the match looked set to go into extra time before Brandao scored in the second minute of injury time.
Inter still had time to score again through a penalty by substitute Giampaolo Pazzini, but it wasn't enough and Marseille advanced on away goals after a 2-2 scoreline over the two games.
Marseille is through to the quarterfinals for the first time since winning the competition in 1993 but the French side will have to do without Steve Mandanda for the first leg. The goalkeeper was outstanding against Inter but was sent off in the incident that led to the penalty.
"We went through so many emotions,'' coach Didier Deschamps said. "Today we were playing a very good team, Mandanda kept us in it especially in the first half.
"Our aim was to get through to the last 16, we've now gone beyond that. It's obvious we're ambitious but we have to see. You never know how far you can go.''
Inter, Champions League winners in 2010, is now all but certain to end the season trophyless and there is sure to be more speculation about coach Claudio Ranieri's future.
"I'll go to sleep, wake up, take training....like always,'' the former Juventus coach said. "Who coaches in Italy is used to this. If (Inter president Massimo) Moratti decides to change the coach, I'll thank him for the opportunity he's given me.''
Inter's exit continues a miserable run. Ranieri's team won 2-0 against Chievo at the weekend but that ended a run of nine matches without a win in all competitions.
"It's upsetting,'' Inter coach Claudio Ranieri said. "Because when you see a team that tries to do everything it can and goes even beyond that, that creates more chances than the opposing team and then loses, goes out of the Champions League it leaves you with bitter taste in your mouth.
"We had a lot of misfortune but these two matches and the bad luck we've had sums up our whole season.''
Inter should have taken the lead in the eighth minute when Javier Zanetti forced his way into the right side of the box and slipped the ball to Wesley Sneijder whose shot was brilliantly stopped by Mandanda at point blank range.
The rebound fell straight to Milito, who was also in the six-yard box, but his effort was somehow kept out by a crowd of Marseille players on the line.
That seemed to give Inter confidence and moments later Milito had another great opportunity following Sneijder's cross but Mandanda again pulled off a brilliant save to deny the Argentine, who had scored 11 goals in his past 12 matches.
At the other end Marseille's best chance came in the 18th minute when Loic Remy's header flashed narrowly wide of the left upright.
The pace of the match slowed down at the start of the second half and, with Inter desperately needing a goal, Ranieri brought on Pazzini and Joel Obi for Forlan and Sneijder.
Inter was still struggling to carve out goalscoring opportunities but did win a free kick 20 yards out which Dejan Stankovic fired narrowly over.
Souleymane Diawara was booked for his challenge on Andrea Poli and will miss the first leg of the quarterfinals.
Marseille went close to going ahead in the 68th minute as Diarra headed Valbuena's free kick goalwards but Julio Cesar did well to tip the effort round his left post.
Inter leveled the tie shortly afterwards. Esteban Cambiasso, who had come on moments earlier, crossed in and although Jeremy Morel blocked Pazzini's six-yard effort, the rebound fell straight to Milito to fire home his 12th goal in his past 13 matches.
The Italian side came close to winning the tie in normal time as first Mandanda acrobatically tipped Maicon's free kick over the bar before Cambiasso headed over from almost on the goaline.
Inter was to regret its wasted opportunities as, in stoppage time, Brandao latched onto a long ball and evaded Walter Samuel's challenge to lash the ball past Julio Cesar.
The match ended on a bitter note for both sides as first the otherwise excellent Mandanda was sent off for a foul on Pazzini inside the box, and then the striker picked himself up to score a penalty that was all for nothing.
"He's a bit downhearted but that will pass,'' Deschamps said. "It's not often that one of my players gets a chance to play a Champions League quarterfinal so I hope he'll only get a one-match ban.''
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