Late Martinez penalty takes Inter to Champions League knockouts

A late penalty by Lautaro Martinez helped Inter Milan book their spot in the Champions League last 16 with a 1-0 win at Salzburg on Wednesday, dashing the Austrian champions' knockout stage hopes with two games remaining.

Substitute Martinez sealed the win for Inter from the spot five minutes from the end of the game after Simone Inzaghi's men were awarded a penalty for a handball.

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Inter are second in Group D on 10 points, level with leaders Real Sociedad who earned a comfortable 3-1 win over Benfica in the other group fixture earlier on Wednesday and also secured a top-two finish with Inter's victory.

Salzburg, who would have kept their last-16 qualifying chances alive with a draw, are third with three points.

Lautaro Martinez's penalty was his second UEFA Champions League goal of the season.
Photo by Leonhard Simon/Getty Images

The Austrian side pressed high from the early stages in front of a sellout crowd but Inter grew as the half wore on and both Davide Frattesi and Alessandro Bastoni had chances to score before halftime.

Martinez, who has scored 12 goals in 11 Serie A games this season, eventually gave Inter the lead, minutes after hitting the bar with an earlier chance.

Inter, who last season reached the final and enjoyed their most successful Champions League campaign since lifting the trophy in 2010 under Jose Mourinho, edged Salzburg 2-1 in the reverse fixture last month.