Edin Dzeko’s goal guides AS Roma to Round-of -8 after 10 straight years.
AS Roma made an astounding comeback as they defeated Shakhtar Donetsk 1-0 (2-2 on aggregate) on away goal basis in the second leg of Round-of-16 at the Stadio Olimpico in UEFA Champions League (UCL) on Wednesday. Bosnian international, Edin Dzeko(52’) goal the difference as AS Roma make their way to the quarter-finals.
AS Roma came with very clear intentions as from the first minute itself they started raiding into the Shakhtar’s defence. Edin Dzeko went for a screamer from the edge of the box but was denied by Shakhtar Donetsk’s custodian Pyatov.
Shakhtar Donetsk came close to scoring at the 11th minute when Bernard whipped the ball in towards the near post but Roma’s defender Florenzi got a slight touch to the ball to direct it towards its own goalpost.
There were lots of touches in the game as the players were keen on keeping the possession. Both the teams were trying to create chances but were getting denied by either’s defence as both the team kept pressing hard.
AS Roma had a chance at the 21st minute when Edin Dzeko squared the ball to Kolarov, Kolarov crossed from the left flank but Shakhtar Donetsk’s custodian Pyatov made a low dive to save it.
A minute after the half-hour mark, Shakhtar Donetsk could have gone ahead in the tie as AS Roma’s defender, Fazio fumbled while collecting the pass and Shakhtar’s forward Facundo Ferreyra exploited the chance and made an incisive run but his shot went wide from the intended target.
At the 36th minute, Argentine Diego Perotti went for the glory as he struck wide from the post.
At the end of first half regulation period, AS Roma and Shakhtar Donetsk had a goalless battle as the score-line remained 0-0.
Seven minutes after the resumption of play, Edin Dzeko drew the first blood of the game. Against the flow of the game, Kevin Strootman flicked an incisive through-ball in gaps of the Shakhtar’s defence to Edin Dzeko before the latter scoring through the legs of Andriy Pyatov.
Three minutes later, Kevin Strootman squared the ball to Perotti. But Perotti’s shot was met by Andriy Pyatov as the shot went straight to him.
At the hour mark, Nainggolan rolled the ball towards the goal-scorer Dzeko at the edge of the penalty box. Dzeko went for the first strike to the top corner but his shot just drifted from the path missing just by a whisker. A few minutes later, Perotti and Dzeko paired up as they made a counter attack. Perotti released Dzeko with the through ball but the latter one’s shot missed the target by miles.
At the 73rd minute, Edin Dzeko latched the ball to substitute Gerson behind the Shakhtar’s defence but Gerson’s shot was blocked Ismaily.
Shakhtar Donetsk kept pushing hard in search of the goal. But the home crowd’s cheers for their home team and frustration added weight to their minds as they lost their game completely. Shakhtar Donetsk started playing bit rough and were getting a bit physical with the opposition’s players and also kept on committing fouls. It resulted in the 78th minute when Ivan Ordets was given the straight red card for holding Edin Dzeko from behind.
The Moles came close to scoring a late equalizer in the 93rd minute. Taison flashed through the Roma’s defence before crossing the ball to Ferreyra but the latter one cannot connect to the ball and the ball went wide.
AS Roma has now made it to the quarter-final after ten years. Shakhtar Donetsk cannot go further though they were leading 2-1 after the first leg.