Tuesday July 23 2013
Sassuolo see off Milan for trophy

Sassuolo beat Milan 2-1 to win the Trofeo TIM, but the game was marred by Kevin Constant storming off due to alleged racist abuse.

This was the decider of the Trofeo TIM after Juventus lost to Milan on penalties and beat Sassuolo in another shoot-out. The final 45-minute match at the Mapei Stadium in Reggio Emilia rounded out the evening.

The first goal of the summer tournament arrived after four minutes, as Andrea Petagna pounced on a poor Jonathan Rossini backpass and shrugged off the goalkeeper to deposit into an empty net. The striker turned 18 last month and is a star of the Milan youth team.

A Robinho strike was charged down and Bianco went close for the hosts with a backheel flick wide from a corner.

Another defensive error handed Sassuolo the equaliser, as goalkeeper Gabriel’s pass to promising Canadian-Italian midfielder Bryan Cristante was intercepted and Gaetano Masucci blasted it low into the near bottom corner.

Robinho wasted a golden opportunity with poor finishing moments later and was booed off the field by Milan fans. His rapport with the supporters has been damaged by the on-again off-again move to Santos that never materialised.

Petagna pounced on another howler and this time desperate Francesco Manganelli defending prevented Andrea Poli from taking the lead. Alberto Pomini also required a tough save on Petagna’s snapshot.

The evening took a very nasty turn after 34 minutes when Kevin Constant suddenly kicked the ball into the stands and stormed off into the locker room. He said he heard a racist insult, but nobody else on the field appeared to. Milan sent on a substitute and the referee followed protocol by sending out a message over the tannoy system warning the game could be suspended.

It was similar to the incident that saw Kevin-Prince Boateng leave during a midweek friendly against Pro Patria, but that was after repeated racist chanting and the rest of the team followed him.

Cristian Zaccardo scored, although he was in an offside position.

Milan ended the game with 10 men, as Cristante committed a second bookable offence. This too had seemed ready for penalties, until Masucci sprung the offside trap from a Gomes through ball and kept his cool to side-foot past Gabriel.

That goal completed Masucci’s brace and gave Sassuolo the 13th edition of the Trofeo TIM. Sassuolo end the tournament with four points, followed by Juventus on three and Milan two.

Milan 1-2 Sassuolo

Scorers: Petagna 4 (M), Masucci 12, 45 (S)

Milan: Gabriel; Zaccardo, Bonera, Mexes (Strasser 28), Constant (Piccinocchi 35); Poli, Cristante, Nocerino (Traore 24); Emanuelson; Robinho (Niang 19) (Kinglsey Boateng 37), Petagna (Oduamadi 44)

Sassuolo: Pomini; Marzorati, Rossini, Bianco (Gliozzi 44), Longhi (Laverone 11); Kurtic (Gomes 11), Manganelli, Missiroli (Laribi 11); Falcinelli, Masucci, Pavoletti

Ref: Gervasoni

Sent off: Cristante 41 (M)

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