Juventus ended their Guinness International Champions Cup adventure in defeat after Inter prevailed 9-8 on penalties following a 1-1 draw in regular time at Miami’s Sun Life Stadium.
Antonio Conte had called for a response from his men after the disappointment of Tuesday’s defeat to LA Galaxy and will have been encouraged with the performance shown against a Nerazzurri outfit keen to avenge their 4-0 defeat against Valencia.
Despite dominating for large spells of the encounter, Juventus only had Arturo Vidal’s first half equaliser to show for their endeavour, with misses from Sebastian Giovinco and Mauricio Isla proving costly in the lottery of spot kicks.
Inter, however, looked the livelier of the two sides in the opening period and created two half chances to snatch the lead inside the first five minutes. Alvaro Pereira’s cross from the left-hand side was turned over by Rodrigo Palacio, before Fredy Guarin’s weak volley was easily gathered by Gigi Buffon.
Gaining confidence and momentum following the early Nerazzurri assault, Juventus fashioned two decent opportunities for Mirko Vucinic. The Montenegrin, starting his first game of the Jeep US Tour, first cut inside and struck a right-footed effort over the bar, before then sending a header skywards after making a strong connection with Andrea Pirlo’s set-piece delivery.
With the equilibrium now established after both teams had staked their claim for an early opener, efforts from range became the preferred method of attempting to break the deadlock. Guarin dragged a 25-yard shot wide of the target on 17 minutes, while Claudio Marchisio followed suit less than 60 seconds later.
Despite going close courtesy of a Pirlo free-kick from just outside the area which dropped just short of Samir Handanovic’s post, Juventus found themselves a goal behind on 27 minutes after Guarin’s powerful drive was pushed only as far as Alvarez, who steered a straightforward finish into the bottom corner.
The Bianconeri went in search of an equaliser and after seeing a neat combination between Carlos Tevez and Stephan Lichtsteiner break down at the crucial moment, then had a good shout for a penalty fall on deaf ears after Arturo Vidal was sent tumbling in the box.
The Chilean, however, had better luck a minute before the break, lashing the ball confidently past Handanovic from 12 yards after Juan Jesus had tangled with Vucinic in the penalty area.
Heartened by the equaliser which restored parity going into the interval, the Bianconeri, now with Marco Storari and Isla on for Buffon and Lichtsteiner, continued to press and could have grabbed the lead from two chances fashioned in the space of five minutes.
Vidal sought to double his personal tally directly from Pirlo’s corner kick, crashing in an audacious first-time volley which sailed fractionally wide. Even closer to finding the target was Marchisio, who forced a save from Juan Pablo Carrizo after latching on to Carlos Tevez’ searching ball into the penalty area.
Now pushing forward with real purpose, Conte’s men thought their time had come when Pirlo lined up to strike a trademark free-kick, 25 yards from goal with 12 minutes remaining. The midfielder clipped the ball over the wall to perfection, only to see his effort bounce back off the post.
As with the Bianconeri’s debut encounter against Everton in San Francisco, penalties were again required to separate the sides after 90 minutes. After both sides struck ten kicks each, Inter eventually took the spoils, with Carrizo hammering home the decisive effort after previously saving from Isla.