FRISCO, Texas – After a 2-2 draw with FC Dallas at Pizza Hut Park, Inter Milan manager Rafa Benítez took the end result for what it was: a positive way to end his side’s three-game North American Tour.
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Inter got goals from Diego Milito and Samuel Eto’o in the draw and the famed gaffer addressed the media after this one was in the books.
“It was a good game for the fans with a lot of opportunities for both sides. You could see that sometimes it was too open,” Benítez said.
Milito’s header in the 24th minute gave Inter an early 1-0 lead before FCD answered off a George John header about three minutes before halftime. A goal from Eto’o from about 25 yards out in the 64th made it 2-1, but David Ferreira converted a penalty kick for the equalizer in the 75th.
Benítez had good things to say about the quality he saw from the home side in Thursday’s draw.
“I thought they were quite sharp," the Inter manager said. "You could see the difference in terms of physical condition. A lot of them were working very hard and they were working very fast. They also have some quality. It’s a good team.”
At halftime, the Spaniard made seven changes to his starting 11 and explained those wholesale substitutions: “We had some players coming back from the World Cup, so they couldn’t play more than 45. It was still too long for some of them, so it was not easy. But, at the end, we were trying to do our job here [and] work hard trying to prepare for the season. It was fine.”
One player who didn’t play for Inter was Honduran forward David Suazo.
“He had a small injury during World Cup," Benítez said. "He just started working out, so he couldn’t play."
And even though the tie boiled down to an FCD penalty kick, Benítez chose to take the high road when asked about the call on defender Marco Materazzi for a takedown of FCD’s Jeff Cunningham inside the area.
“I can say I’m always very diplomatic," he said. "I didn’t see."
But all in all, the new Inter manager was happy with the results during his side’s tour.
“I think it was good to play some games and train in the good facilities that we had," Benítez said. "It was part of the preseason to work hard and stick together because we have a lot of players coming back late."