Juventus closed out the International Champions Cup with a penalty shoot-out win over Roma after a 1-1 draw at Gillette Stadium on Sunday.
A first-half goal from Mario Mandzukic was cancelled out by Edin Dzeko with 16 minutes left of the encounter in Massachusetts in a match that offered a glimpse of a potentially engrossing Serie A title battle in the coming season.
Massimiliano Allegri and Eusebio Di Francesco named strong starting line-ups and clear-cut opportunities were scarce in a balanced and often combative encounter.
Mandzukic made the most of his lone chance in the first half with a clinical finish, but only the woodwork denied Kevin Strootman an equaliser early in the second period.
Roma’s pressure began to mount in the final half-hour as Juve sat deeper, and Dzeko capitalised on a rare piece of slack marking to tap in a cross from Aleksandar Kolarov.
The capital city club, who snatched an injury-time winner against Tottenham in their last outing, pushed for a second in the closing stages but youngster Marco Tumminello then missed the crucial spot-kick to hand Juve the win in the shoot-out.
— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) July 30, 2017
Dzeko should have done more than shin the ball out for a goal kick when picked out in clear space in the Juve box, as Roma began the game looking the more threatening.
Juve began to assume control, with Miralem Pjanic rasping a shot inches wide from the edge of the area, and Mandzukic pounced with his first real opportunity on 29 minutes to give them the lead.
The Croatian raced onto Alex Sandro’s curled pass in behind the Roma defence, before rounding goalkeeper Alisson and slotting home, despite the best efforts of the covering Juan Jesus.
— JuventusFC (@juventusfc) July 30, 2017
Roma responded well after the break, Strootman crashing a strike against the crossbar from 25 yards out before Dzeko forced Gianluigi Buffon into a save with a volley from Radja Nainggolan’s cross.
Juve missed a clear chance to double their lead just shy of the hour mark, though. Douglas Costa cut in from the right and drilled low towards the bottom-right corner, and although Alisson spilled the ball into Gonzalo Higuain’s path, the Argentina striker could not find a way past the goalkeeper.
Dzeko soon went into the referee’s notebook after catching Giorgio Chiellini in the face with his forearm – an incident that prompted a furious reaction from Strootman – before Chiellini himself was booked for hauling down Cengiz Under as the match became increasingly gritty.
But Roma’s persistence finally paid off with quarter of an hour to play. Kolarov found space to the left of the penalty area and fired the ball low into the six-yard box, where Dzeko arrived unchallenged to convert past substitute goalkeeper Carlo Pinsoglio.
Allegri introduced €40million signing Federico Bernardeschi for his debut but it was Roma who finished the strongest, although a Kolarov free-kick saved by Pinsoglio was the closest they came to another late winner.
Pinsoglio proved the hero as the match went to penalties, as he made a good save to deny 18-year-old Tumminello’s opening spot-kick before Costa eventually sealed the 5-4 win.
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!