x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

It was not easy, says Milan scorer Pandev

The Macedonian forward insisted they never took their African opponents Mazembe lightly in the Club World Cup final.

ABU DHABI // Having opened the scoring in Inter Milan's comfortable 3-0 win over TP Mazembe, Goran Pandev, the Macedonian forward, insisted they never took their African opponents lightly.

"If Mazembe could beat Internacional, the Brazilian club with whom we were expected to meet in the final, then they must definitely be a better team," said Pandev.

"This championship meant a lot for the club and we came with the intention of winning this trophy. It was a wonderful feeling tonight.

"We came well prepared and everything worked out well for us. We didn't have any easy matches, although we won both the games by 3-0 margins."

Inter overcame their first hurdle against Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma, the Asian champions from South Korea.

When asked about whether they were missing the influence of Jose Mourinho, the Portuguese coach who led them to the European title last season, Pandev replied: "He built a solid squad. He has gone but what he built still remains.

"We just need to work hard and take it forward with the new technical staff."

Mazembe, the beaten finalists, walked away with their heads high, after becoming the first team outside South America or Europe to play in the final.

"To play in the final against Inter was already a great achievement and not to have won against them doesn't take any sheen away from this team," said Given Singuluma, the Mazembe forward.

"We made a few mistakes at the back to concede two early goals and that left us with a very hard task for the rest of the game.

"But we can be proud of the fact that TP Mazembe became the first team other than a team from Europe and South America to reach the final.

"I am sure we earned the respect of every other team."