Last-gasp Sneijder sends Inter top

KIEV, Nov 4, 2009 (AFP) - Wesley Sneijder struck a dramatic late winner to earn Inter Milan a 2-1 comeback victory over Dynamo Kiev in their Champions League clash at the Lobanovskiy Stadium here on Wednesday.

Kiev led until the 86th minute, when Diego Milito equalised, and with a minute of normal time to play Sneijder converted from close range after home goalkeeper Stanislav Bogush let Sulley Muntari's strike get away from him.

Samuel Eto'o of FC Inter (C) fights for a ball with Stanislav Bogush (L) and Yevgen Khacheridi (R) of Dynamo Kiev during UEFA Champions League, Group F football match with FC Dynamo in Kiev on November 4, 2009. Milan won 2-1. AFP PHOTO

Barcelona's earlier 0-0 draw at Russian champions Rubin Kazan means Inter, who started the day bottom of the group, now have a one-point lead at the top of Group F with two matches to play.

"It was a fantastic performance, with heart, emotion, desire and unity," said Inter coach Jose Mourinho, whose side had gone eight matches without a win in the competition.

"I've done some quick calculations and I think that nine points will be enough (to qualify for the last 16). We have six, we need three more.

"Things would have been much more complicated with a draw or a defeat.

"It gives belief to the team and, I hope, the fans, who will all have to be there for our last match against Rubin Kazan. We must win this match at home."

Andriy Shevchenko's strike mid-way through the first half looked to have earned Kiev a significant victory over Inter and Mourinho, who brought the Ukrainian striker to Chelsea when manager of the Premier League side in 2006.

The Portuguese coach sent on Thiago Motta and Mario Balotelli at half-time as Inter sought an equaliser but it was centre-back Walter Samuel who wasted the first chance to level when he headed wide from Sneijder's free-kick.

Samuel Eto'o spurned an even better opportunity with 25 minutes to go when he headed wide from barely two yards after Samuel's flick-on, before the Argentine defender thumped a diving header against the post.

Inter bombarded the Kiev penalty area, Balotelli placing a shot narrowly wide of the right-hand upright and Eto'o missing with another header but with time running out Milito collected Sneijder's pass before firing past Bogush.

Kiev's defensive work was then undone completely in the 89th minute, Bogush spilling substitute Muntari's effort and Milito squaring for Sneijder to tap home.

Sneijder had come close to giving Inter an early lead when he saw a left-footed effort whistle over the Kiev crossbar in the second minute.

Milos Ninkovic responded with a tame effort that drifted wide as the hosts struggled to get men forward before Eto'o blasted over for Inter after latching onto Milito's headed pass.

Shevchenko had been largely subdued but he sparked into life to put Kiev in front in the 21st minute with a shot from the edge of the penalty area that stunned Inter goalkeeper Julio Cesar by dipping beneath the crossbar.

Source: AFP

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