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Cork City undone late on by Roma in Uefa Youth League

3,014 fans showed up at Turner’s Cross to follow the Leesiders’ U19s.

Cork's Chiedozie Ogbene with Niccolo Tofanari of Roma.
Cork's Chiedozie Ogbene with Niccolo Tofanari of Roma.

Cork City 1
AS Roma 3

A MISSED PENALTY from Aaron Drinan and two late Roma goals saw Cork City’s U19s go down to the Italian giants at a packed Turner’s Cross tonight.

Despite City’s excellent start in the Uefa Youth League second round first leg, it was Roma who expectedly opened the scoring, albeit in soft circumstances.

Davide Frattesi followed up his run with a low drive which was too strong for goalkeeper David Coffey, who spilled through his own legs after 20 minutes .

It was cruel justice for Stephen Bermingham’s men, but they’re made of stern stuff, and after a few half-chances they had their dream equaliser in front of the impressive 3,014 in attendance.

Cian Coleman has been a regular part of John Caulfield’s senior team over the last few weeks, and his ball over-the-top found the onrushing Drinan who instinctively smashed it on the half-volley across a helpless Crisanto and into the far corner of the net.

Aaron Drinan celebrates scoring a goal with his teammates Cork's Aaron Drinan celebrates scoring a goal with his team-mates. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Coffey was the hero in City’s 1-0 defeat of HJK Helsinki in the first round, and attoned with two smashing saves in the space of five minutes — first showing strong hands to beat away Marco Tumminello’s powerful half-volley in response to the goal, before a flying save from Sidy Coly saw the appreciative crowd on its feet.

Roma were beginning to get on top, and City had first the crossbar – from Frattesi’s 35-yard drive, and then the linesman’s flag to thank as they survived as far as the break as Tumminello had the ball in the back of the net from Bordin’s corner.

The momentum returned with the hosts after the half, however, and after Coleman was dragged down by Tumminello, referee Jorgen Burchardt pointed to the spot.

Drinan’s penalty to the bottom-left brilliantly saved by Crisanto, only serving to galvanise the home crowd.

As the Cork legs began to tire, the visitors began to show their dominance, and despite Conor McCarthy making to fine desperation blocks to deny two certain goals, the goal advantage was restored just three minutes from time, as Roma captain Soleri’s cross flew all the way into the far corner of the net to Coffey’s despair.

Football can be cruel, and in the dying moments Stefano Ciavattini’s surge down the right-flank saw him draw a fine low save from Coffey, but on hand was substitute Franchi to finish at the back post to all-but secure the tie heading into the return leg.

CORK CITY: D Coffey; P Phillips, C McCarthy, A O’Sullivan, K Taylor; D Fernandes, C Coleman, A Byrne, D O’Riordan, C Ogbene; A Drinan.

AS ROMA: L Crisanto; N Tofanari, S Ciavattini, L Grosi, L Pellegrini (M Antonucci 80); D Frattesi, A Bordin, E Spinozzi (R Marchizza 66); SK Coly (F Franchi 85), E Soleri, L Pellegrini.

Referee: J Burchardt (DEN).

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About the author:

Kevin Galvin

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