It was chaotic, unpredictable, and a lot more nerve-wracking than AS Roma Women would have liked, but the Giallorosse made it two wins from two to open their first-ever Women’s Champions League campaign by coming from 2-0 down to win 4-3 away at SKN St. Pölten.
Alessandro Spugna’s side were well on top from kick-off, and both Annamaria Serturini and Valentina Giacinti were setting the tempo from the front as they made their hosts’ lives as tricky as possible with their aggressive pressing and directness in possession.
Somehow, though, Roma trailed at the break through a Jasmin Eder penalty and then found themselves two goals behind within a minute of the second half starting.
Behind 2-0 as late as the 70th minute, Roma rallied and scored four uninterrupted goals to lead 4-3 with Elena Linari, Valentina Giacinti, Manuela Giugliano and Paloma Lazaro all netting. St. Pölten made it a tense ending as they got their third in the 89th minute.
Roma dominant, but St. Pölten are no pushovers
SKN St. Pölten gave Roma problems of their own, and there were some signs of the side that are ona 71-game unbeaten run domestically in Austria. The Serie A Femminile outfit, though, did always look the stronger of the two.
Captain Jasmin Eder had promised that more was to come from the hosts before this game, and she converted the penalty that put them ahead after Giada Greggi had given away possession and Moeka Minami conceded a penalty. Rita Schumacher tapped in a second early in the second half and it looked as though it wasn’t going to be Roma’s night.
Roma reacted, Greggi got a grip on the game, and the Giallorosse couldn’t be stopped
At 2-0 down Roma boasted an xG of 2.39, showing that the statistics backed up what was being seen on the pitch. It was hard to understand how they trailed.
But Greggi more than made amends for her first-half error. She got full control of the game and was, by some distance, the best player on the pitch in the second 45. It was her cross into the box that caused chaos for Elena Linari to smash in Roma’s first with 15 minutes left.
Two minutes later Roma were level as Giacinti tapped in after Andressa Alves had seen a penalty well saved. Giugliano then fired in from long to put them deservedly in front.
Paloma Lazaro looked to have added some gloss to the result, but her goal was made vital when Maria Mikolajova grabbed a third for the hosts in the last minute of the 90.
Roma are now on six points from their two games and host Wolfsburg in Matchday 3 on November 23.