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Last Updated:  Wednesday, 19 March, 2003, 22:33 GMT
Inter ease through
Bayer Leverkusen 0-2 Inter Milan

Inter Milan striker Obafemi Martins
Martins opened the scoring for Inter
Teenage striker Obafemi Martins vindicated Inter Milan coach Hector Cuper's belief in him as the Italians booked their place in the Champions League quarter-finals.

Cuper brought the 18-year-old Nigerian in for the suspended Christian Vieri and he led the Serie A side to a 2-0 win over Bayer Leverkusen in Germany.

Martins proved a real handful for the German defence with his first half goal and a last minute strike from Turkish star Emre saw Inter join AC Milan and Juventus in the last eight.

The result meant Leverkusen, last season's Champions League finalists, finished a miserable European campaign with no points from their six second phase matches.

They became the first team to suffer such a humiliation at this stage of the competition.

WEDNESDAY'S RESULTS

In only his sixth game for the two-time European champions, Martins' runs deep into Leverkusen land made it a happy night for the visitors.

After several missed attempts in the early stages Martins got Inter off the mark in the 36th minute.

Pouncing on a Domenico Morfeo pass he kept his cool to sidefoot past Bayer keeper Hans-Jorg Butt.

He was again at the centre of the action a minute before the break when he was brought down by Leverkusen defender Thomas Kleine.

Russian referee Valentin Ivanov ignored Leverkusen's protests and awarded a penalty.

QUARTER-FINALISTS
Group A: Barcelona (Spa), Inter Milan (Ita)
Group B: Valencia (Spa), Ajax (Ned)
Group C: AC Milan (Ita), Real Madrid (Spa)
Group D: Manchester United (Eng), Juventus (Ita)

However Butt read Morfeo's spot-kick perfectly and his dive to the left kept Leverkusen's hopes alive.

Martins could so easily have added a second 12 minutes from time only for his angled shot edged the post.

Inter's night was rounded off sweetly when Martins' pass picked up Francesco Coco, whose cross from the left was duly lobbed over Butt by midfielder Emre.

While Inter's European adventure continues, Leverkusen now have a fierce struggle ahead of them just to stay afloat in the Bundesliga.


Bayer Leverkusen: Butt, Ojigwe, Kaluzny, Kleine, Placente, Ramelow, Simak (Cris 62), Basturk (Schneider 46), Bierofka, Brdaric (Neuville 46), Franca.
Subs not used: Starke, Zivkovic, Balitsch, Babic.

Booked: Ojigwe, Kleine, Cris.

Inter Milan: Toldo, Javier Zanetti, Cordoba, Cannavaro, Coco, Sergio Conceicao (Guglielminpietro 83), Okan (Cristiano Zanetti 19), Di Biagio, Emre, Morfeo (Pasquale 75), Martins.
Subs not used: Gamarra, Vivas, Fontana, Altobelli.

Attendance: 43,000

Referee: Nikolai Ivanov (Russia).







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