Roma and Genoa aren’t usually heated rivals, but the two clubs faced off in back-to-back youth finals this week and saw the spoils shared evenly over the last two days. After Roma U-18’s loss in the Scudetto final to Genoa U-18 just yesterday, this evening offered Roma the chance to gain immediate revenge in the U-17 category. The Roma Giovanili did exactly that, through goals from Matteo Falasca, Nicolò Liburdi, and Leonardo D’Alessio.
Roma wide-man Falasca was the hero of the semi-final as he scored and assisted Roma’s last two goals that got them into this final match, and it was Falasca who opened the scoring today with a 14th-minute goal to put Roma on the front foot, early in the first half. Genoa was then consistently kept under pressure for the remainder of the half, thanks to the play of wizkid-forward Luigi Cherubini creating the danger for Roma. The Liguria side did start to create a few chances on Roma’s goal just before the end of the half, but Roma went into the interval 1-0 up on the scoreline and thinking about how to wrap up the victory.
That was achieved early in the second half, despite the triple substitution of Pietro Tomaselli, Luigi Cherubini, and Simone Ienco all exiting the pitch at the break, as the team from the Eternal City struck in the 56th minute to double their advantage even earlier than when they’d gotten out of the blocks in the first 45 minutes. This time it was Roma substitute Nicolò Liburdi who found himself on the end of a long-ball from his teammate Padula. Liburdi would just break Genoa’s last line of defense at the perfect moment to find himself on-side and put it home for 2-0. Then came another Roma goal that essentially sealed the league title.
Leonardo D’Alessio found Roma’s third and ultimate goal of the match in the 63rd minute of the game, with the exalted celebrations to boot as Roma sensed they had this game in the bag with less than half an hour to the final whistle. That didn’t stop Genoa U-17 from grabbing a consolation goal in the 78th minute that could have made the final ten minutes of the match interesting, but Roma held out for a 3-1 full-time victory and the U-17 Scudetto crown.
The last time Roma won this title was back in 2018, which saw the club go on to compete in the following season’s Alkass Cup and lose the European final on penalties to Glasgow Rangers. Maybe Roma will go one better in the Alkass Cup next season but, with the ever-moving nature of youth football, barely anyone in this current crop of league winners will be there to find out.
As a sporting association, A.S. Roma has won three trophies in all categories this 2020-21 season, which has now finally officially ended for Roma just before the men’s senior pre-season training begins in July.