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Italy Could be Shut Out of UEFA Cup Finals - 2002-04-10

Italian football could have no representative in European football's (soccer's) UEFA Cup final if AC Milan and Inter Milan fail in Thursday's second-leg semifinal matches.

Inter is hoping to overcome a one goal deficit when it travels to Rotterdam to face the Dutch club Feyenoord. AC Milan will need a near miracle when it hosts Germany's Borussia Dortmund after last week's 4-0 losing debacle in Germany.

Inter could carry the hopes of Italian football's Series A after the failure of any Italian teams to make the semifinals of the Champions League for the second year in a row.

AC Milan will be missing star playmaker Rui Costa of Portugal, who strained a thigh muscle. Captain Paolo Maldini could also be sidelined with the same injury. The winners of Thursday's semifinals will meet in the UEFA Cup finals at Rotterdam's De Kuip stadium May 8.