Supercoppa Italiana Recap: McKennie Scores in Heartbreaking Loss

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Weston McKennie was the hero for Juventus in their midweek Supercoppa Italiana game against rivals Inter Milan, however a strike by Alexis Sanchez on the last kick of the game denied the Bianconeri their shot at the trophy.

Inter Milan 2 – 1 Juventus

The American was once again in the thick of the action for his team, starting on the left side of a four-man midfield for Juve coach Massimiliano Allegri, and did well as a more active presence in the attack in the absence of both Federico Chiesa and Juan Cuadrado.

The American had 57 total touches, completed 24 of his 33 passes while getting off a pair of shots – one of them the lone score for his team – and winning an impressive eight out of ten duels against the opposition.

Inter were nearly first on the board in the sixth minute when Stefan de Vrij headed just wide, and nearly had an opportunity to go ahead from the spot five minutes later when Giorgio Chiellini made contact with Nicolo Barella in the area, however the initial non-call was upheld by VAR.

Juventus began to swing momentum in their direction after 20 minutes, with Federico Bernardeschi being beaten in his one-on-one with Inter keeper Samir Handanovic shortly thereafter. They were duly rewarded minutes later as McKennie headed them into the lead.

In the 25th minute, a sustained Juve push saw Alvaro Morata claim the ball out wide left, and loft a high cross towards the edge of the six-yard box. McKennie and Dejan Kulusevski were waiting in the middle, and the USMNT star out-lept the pair of defenders on either side, heading the ball downwards and to the right side of goal past the flummoxed Handanovic to give his team the 1-0 lead.

Unfortunately for Juventus, their advantage only lasted for ten minutes. Edin Dzeko did well to position himself directly in the path of Mattia de Sciglio as he charged for a ball into the area, forcing the referee to whistle a penalty in favor of Inter.

Lautaro Martinez stepped up to claim the spot kick, and drilled his shot to the upper right corner to give stand-in Juve keeper Mattia Perin no chance to stop the equalizer.

Following the Inter goal, both teams locked down the opposition, with the chances over the final 65 minutes of regulation coming few and far between.

Bernardeschi shot just wide right in the 48th minute, while Denzel Dumfries forced Perin into a reflex save roughly ten minutes later.

At the end of regulation, McKennie had a penalty shout for an off-the-ball action by Alessandro Bastoni, however the central defender’s stray hand to the American’s face while struggling in the area was eventually ruled as incidental and not worthy of a spot kick.

In overtime, Inter came close to finding a winner in the 96th minute when Sanchez barely missed with a free header, however the Chilean star made no mistake in the last seconds of the second overtime period to earn the trophy in dramatic fashion.

In the last attack before what looked to be a penalty shoot-out, Juventus defender Alex Sandro made a poorly executed attempt to chest down a cross in to his area, instead leaving the ball in play as Sanchez and his marking defender Daniele Rugani battled in front of goal.

Sanchez had half a step on Rugani, Matteo Darmian was able to deflect the ball into his path, and the Chilean smack the ball over the line, giving Inter the exhilarating last-second winner. The referee blew the whistle immediately following the celebrations by the Inter players, ending the exhausting 120-minute contest and awarding the reigning league champions the trophy.

Juventus now turn their attention back towards their ongoing domestic campaigns, with a home game in Serie A against Udinese on Saturday and a visit from Sampdoria three days later in Coppa Italia action.


David Smith

I'm YA's resident doctor, but not the kind of doctor you would want giving you an examination anywhere outside of a lecture hall. I've been YA's feet-on-the-ground in Germany since 2008, have an affinity for overly verbose descriptions of irrelevant minutiae, keep an eye on YAs in most of the destinations on mainland Europe, and watch a whole lot of Serie A.

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