Roma had every excuse under the sun to falter under the Glaswegian skies tonight, where the sun was, ironically, obscured by dense cloud cover. Their opponents, Glasgow City FC, had more Champions League experience, the home field advantage, and had a two-match headstart on Roma since the Scottish Women's Premier League kicked off earlier this month.
While Roma jumped out to an early lead thanks to a cutting move from Benedetta Glionna, fortune quickly soured on the Giallorosse, who gift-wrapped an equalizer to their hosts after Moeka Minami inadvertently deflected the ball past Roma keeper Camelia Ceasar. The two sides traded barbs down the stretch, but the Giallorosse managed to stem the tide before halftime, entering the dressing room even at one goal.
With 45 minutes left to play, Roma left nothing to chance, bombarding Glasgow with repeated attempts from Glionna, Emilie Haavi, and Andressa, among others. For a minute, it seemed like the Giallorosse would succumb to Minami's earlier own goal, but Paloma Lázaro, who came on for Valentina Giacinti in the 54th minute, set up the game-winning goal thanks to a remarkable display of close control.
With her back to the goal, Lazáro corraled a loose ball and, in one smooth motion, settled the ball, dragged it as she turned around, and still had the presence of mind to shake off two defenders before playing Glionna to the edge of the penalty box. From there, the 23-year-old Italian winger slotted home the eventual match winner at the far post before pumping her fist in a manner best described as De Rossian.
As the sun set on Petershill Park, Glionna returned the favor, setting up Lazáro with a gimme goal to put the match to bed.
Thanks to their 3-1 win today, Roma will square off against Paris FC on Sunday with a trip to the second round on the line. See you then!