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Martínez comes off the bench to fire Inter into last 16 of Champions League with win at Salzburg

Inter Milan Lautaro Martinez Lautaro Martinez - The Canadian Press

SALZBURG, Austria (AP) — Lautaro Martínez came off the bench and scored as Inter Milan won 1-0 at Salzburg on Wednesday to advance to the knockout stage of the Champions League with two matches to spare.

Martínez was one of the players initially rested by Inter coach Simone Inzaghi. He was brought on in the 68th minute along with Nicolò Barella, who won the penalty which Martínez tucked away in the 85th.

It was the 14th goal of the season in all competitions for Argentine World Cup winner Martínez.

Inter, last season’s runner-up, is level on 10 points with Real Sociedad at the top of Group D. Sociedad also booked its place in the round of 16 thanks to Inter’s result, after earlier beating Benfica 3-1. Salzburg has three points and Benfica zero.

Serie A leader Inter knew victory in Austria would see it advance in Europe and the team was coming off a run of five straight wins.

The match was played at a high tempo from the start but both teams struggled to create clear opportunities before Inzaghi brought on Martínez and Barella.

The last time Martínez entered the game as a second-half substitute for Inter, he scored four goals against Salernitana in September in Serie A.

He almost broke the deadlock eight minutes from time in Salzburg but home goalkeeper Alexander Schlager pulled off a fantastic save to tip Martínez’s header onto the crossbar.

However, Martínez gave Inter the lead from the spot three minutes later after Salzburg midfielder Mads Bidstrup blocked Barella’s shot with his arm.


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