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  -   NEWS
Wednesday, August 9, 2000
Inter suffer setback against Helsingborg
By Mitch Phillips

LONDON, Aug 9 (Reuters) - Inter Milan's bid to rejoin the elite of European football began disappointingly on Wednesday when they were beaten 1-0 by Sweden's Helsingborg in the first leg of their third qualifying round tie.

City rivals AC Milan needed a last minute goal to secure a 3-1 home win over Dinamo Zagreb while 1860 Munich also left it until injury time to score their goal in a 2-1 defeat at Leeds United.

Last season's runners-up Valencia drew 0-0 at Tirol Innsbruck while UEFA Cup holders Galatasaray look well-placed to reach the group stage after a 2-1 success at Swiss outsiders St Gallen.

Inter, anxious to return to the Champions League after missing out last season, had the best of the game against Helsingborg with new signing Robbie Keane making an impressive competitive debut. The Irish international was through on goal just before half-time only for goalkeeper Bengt Andersson to make a superb save.

With Frenchman Laurent Blanc also producing an assured performance, Inter looked set for at least a draw.

But Helsingborg midfielder Michael Hansson changed things round eight minutes from time when he crashed home a sweet right-foot volley.

A double strike from Andriy Shevchenko helped AC Milan to a hard-fought 3-1 win over Dinamo Zagreb.

Milan, crushed 5-1 at home by Real Madrid in a friendly last month and thwarted in the close season transfer market, conceded a goal to the Croatian champions after 20 minutes when Renato Pilipovic headed in a corner.

Shevchenko, top scorer in Serie A last season, headed the equaliser within two minutes and steered in Milan's second after an hour.

Dinamo continued to threaten but were caught out in the final minute when new signing Gianni Comandini fired in a low shot.

Three players were sent off as Leeds conceded a disastrous late goal at Elland Road.

Leeds pair Olivier Dacourt and Eirik Bakke went off for second yellow card offences in the second half while 1860 Munich had Ned Zelic dismissed in the 41st minute for a foul on Ian Harte.

That came a minute after Alan Smith had headed Leeds ahead and when Ian Harte scored a penalty 19 minutes from time the English team looked set for a solid home win.

But the visitors grabbed a vital goal in the third minute of injury time when Paul Agostino converted a perfect cross from Thomas Haessler.

Last season's runners-up Valencia began the new campaign with a low key goalless draw at Austrian champions Tirol Innsbruck.

Valencia, beaten by Real Madrid in the final in May, were well below their best although Gaizka Mendieta did smash one shot against the bar.

Galatasaray recovered from conceding an early goal to beat Swiss outsiders St Gallen 2-1 with two goals by Jardel.

The Brazilian striker, who Galatasaray hope will fill the hole left by the departed Hakan Sukur, headed the equaliser for the visitors in the 39th minute and touched in the winner 12 minutes from time.

Red Star Belgrade, European champions 10 seasons ago, survived a late surge by Dynamo Kiev to earn a 0-0 away draw.

Polish champions Polonia Warsaw fought back from a two-goal deficit to draw 2-2 at home with Panathinaikos.

Krzysztof Warzycha and Panagiofis Fissas had the Athens side 2-0 up after 38 minutes but Tomasz Kielbowicz pulled one back before halftime and Dariusz Kaliszan equalised in the 68th minute.

Panathinaikos had a golden opportunity to win in the 88th minute when a cross went through goalkeeper Maciej Szczesny's hands, hitting the bar, only to be followed by a near-own goal by Polonia's Tomas Zvirgzdauskas, whose mis-hit clearance struck a post.

Scottish champions Rangers cruised to a 3-0 win at Danish outsiders Herfolge and look set for the group stage.

 


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