Two goals in the final seven minutes gave Roma the lead ahead of the second leg of this UEFA Youth League Round of 16 clash in Turners Cross tonight as they defeated Cork City 3-1 in the opening legs.
Roma initially had the lead after 10 minutes when Frattesi gave the Italians the lead but credit to City they equalised 10 minutes later through Aaron Drinan on 20 minutes. City had a missed penalty in the second half and played superb but the Italians got two goals from Edoardo Soleri on 86 minutes and then the result was put beyond doubt on 93 minutes when substitute Filippo Franchi converted from close range.
Cork City was unchanged from the team that defeated HJK Helsinki in the previous round at Turners Cross. The visitors coached by Alberto de Rossi, dad of the Italian international player Danielle de Rossi. Roma featured two players in Marco Tumminello and Edoardo Soleri who have both played Serie A this season.
Backed by a huge crowd of 3,015 on a near perfect night for football the Cork soccer public came to be entertained and entertained they were as Cork City didn’t look out of place against their more Illustrious counterparts.
Cork City had the better of the opening 10 minutes with Alec Byrne firing wide from the edge of the box as Roma struggled to get to the pace of the game owing to Cork City’s all action display.
Yet disaster struck on the 10th minute for the home side. Following superb hold up play from Soleiri taking two Cork City players with him, he played a through ball that found Frattesi who shot weakly at David Coffey but the ball slipped through the ‘keepers legs and over the line.
Instead of wilting City, regrouped and after a few dangerous plays, they found an equaliser on 20 minutes. Cian Coleman who had a superb game in the middle of the park was the creator. His through ball over the top found Drinan and the Carrigaline native held off the Roma defender to fire first time with his left leg into the bottom right hand corner. The stadium celebrated the goal as loud as they have done for any game so far this season in Turners Cross.
Yet the equaliser stung Roma into life and Tumminello tried his luck but Coffey was equal to the effort. A few minutes later Coffey had to be at his best to tip away another Tumminello snap shot from the edge of the area.
Alessandro Bordin saw his shot from the edge of the box crash off the bar with Coffey well beaten but still City held in there. Chiedozie Ogbene was full of running for the City team on the left wing and was causing the Roma rearguard problems right throughout the first half.
After the interval one would have expected City to fold owing to the fact that most of their players are currently in secondary school while Roma were be full of professional players but credit to Stephen Bermingham and his backroom staff as they have the players in peak condition.
Cork had an opportunity to take the lead on 52 minutes when they were awarded a penalty following a foul by Lorenzo Grossi on Drinan. Drinan dusted himself off and fired low to the right but Lorenzo Cristanto got down low and saved it for a corner.
City had the majority of the possession but Roma still looked dangerous on the break and needed interventions from both Pierce Phillips and Conor McCarthy to prevent Tumminello from scoring.
Daire O’Riordan had a great game for City in the number 10 position on the field making best use of the ball he was getting from Byrne who was superb for City.
Though the home side‘s hearts were broken on 86 minutes when Soleri’s cross from the right was deflected off Adam O’Sullivan and lobbed Coffey into the bottom right hand corner.
The final nail in the result occurred on 93 minutes when Frattesi had a long run down the sideline before seeing his shot blocked by McCarthy on the line only to fall to Franchi and the substitute fired home from close range.
Cork City: David Coffey; Pierce Philips, Conor McCarthy, Adam O’Sullivan Kevin Taylor; Denzil Fernandez, Alec Byrne, Cian Coleman, Chiedozie Ogbene; Daire O’Riordan; Aaron Drinan.
Subs not used: Adam Mylod, Ross Welch, Cian Leonard, Jordan O’Regan, Ronan Hurley, Thomas O’Donovan, William Armshaw
Yellow Cards: None
Red Cards: None
AS Roma: Lorenzo Cristanto; Niccolo’ Tofanari, Stefano Ciavatti, Lorenzo Grossi, Luca Pellegrini (Mirko Antonucci 81); Alessandro Bordin; Davide Fratessi, Emmanuele Spinozzi (Riccardo Marchizza 66), Edoardo Soleiri, Sidy Keba Coly (Fillippo Franchi 85); Marco Tumminello,
Subs not used: Andrea Romagnoli, Andrea Marcucci, Lorenzo Valeau, Joseph Perfection Bouasse Ombiogno
Yellow Cards: Ciavattini (39), Tofanari (51), Soleri (51), Pellegrini (53)
Red Cards: None
Referee: Jorgen Daugbjerg Burchardt (Denmark)
Extratime.ie Man of the match: Alec Byrne (Cork City)