While the rest of the Romaverse was busy sweating out updates on Renato Sanches and Gianluca Scamacca, the Giallorossi were sweating out an actual result in a surprisingly taught summer friendly. Although there was nothing at stake in yesterday's friendly against Sporting Braga, the recent history between the two clubs, who met in the 2020-2021 Europa League, gave this exhibition match a bit of extra juice.
Decked out in their new cream-colored, marble-accented kits, the Giallorossi took on Braga in Algarve, Portugal, yesterday afternoon. Under the sweltering summer heat, José Mourinho's men gutted out a one-one draw, featuring all the usual hallmarks of The Special One's tenure: shots clanging off the woodwork, beautifully struck shots narrowly missing the mark, rash challenges, and sweat-stained shirts.
Despite the usual script, yesterday's friendly gave us our first glimpse of new signees Houssem Aouar, Rasmus Kristensen, and Evan N'Dicka against a top-flight opponent. And, for some reason, we saw backup keeper Mile Svilar in a kit with no badge on it—it's pre-season for the kit managers, too!
After trading a few early barbs, including a well-struck header from Gianluca Mancini that the Braga keeper narrowly parried away, Roma drew first blood in the 32nd minute, thanks to a sensational pass from Mancini, who picked out Stephan El Shaarawy from beyond the midfield stripe. From there, SES and Nicola Zalewski pulled off a tidy little give-and-go, which resulted in a tap-in goal for El Shaarawy—Roma's only strike of the match.
Braga would equalize late in the match, but Roma escaped unscathed, free from injury, and ready for the club's next pre-season tilt against Estrela on Saturday the 29th.
If you weren't able to catch the match, please enjoy the match highlights, and be sure to give us your thoughts below: were you impressed by the new guys? How about the kits?