Serie A: Own goal saves wasteful Inter at Sampdoria

September 16, 2006

ROME, Sept 16 (Reuters) - Italian champions Inter Milan failed to capitalise on a series of chances and needed a late own goal to draw 1-1 with Sampdoria in Serie A on Saturday.

Inter were punished for lacking the finishing touch when Francesco Flachi put Sampdoria ahead with a 47th minute penalty.

They continued to dominate the game but had to wait until 11 minutes from time before Sampdoria midfielder Massimo Bonanni headed the ball into his own net from a corner.

The draw, which put Inter top with four points from two matches this season, seemed an unlikely result at the start of the game at the San Siro stadium.

Inter, still smarting from a midweek Champions League defeat by Sporting, started briskly and would have taken a first-half lead but for the heroics of Sampdoria keeper Luca Castellazzi.

He made a series of fine saves, starting in the 21st minute when he palmed away a close range effort by Zlatan Ibrahimovic and then blocked Brazilian defender Maicon's shot on the rebound.

Castellazzi also pulled off a reflex save to prevent striker Hernan Crespo putting Inter ahead shortly before the interval.

It seemed only a matter of time before Inter scored but two minutes into the second half defender Ivan Cordoba shoved Flachi to the ground and the forward got up to convert the penalty.

The goal failed to alter the balance of the contest, however, and Inter continued to create chances.

Their frustration was compounded in the 71st minute, when Patrick Vieira fired the ball into the net only for his effor to be wrongly ruled offside.

It seemed Sampdoria would take all three points but with 11 minutes remaining Castellazzi, who had not made a mistake all night, flapped at wildly at a corner and the ball passed between his gloves before bouncing off Bonanni into the net.

Earlier on Saturday, Reggina striker Rolando Bianchi continued his excellent start to the season by scoring in stoppage time to earn a 2-1 home win over Cagliari.

The 23-year-old, who struck a hat-trick in Reggina's 4-3 defeat by Palermo in the first round of matches last week, is the division's leading scorer.