AS Roma Women booked their place in the UEFA Women’s Champions League quarter-finals in their first-ever campaign as they beat SKN St. Poelten 5-0 at the Stadio Domenico Francioni.
A first-half goal from Annamaria Serturini sent Roma on their way to victory and after a slightly nervy spell, they scored four goals in six minutes with two each for Benedetta Glionna and Manuela Giugliano.
An unusual start for AS Roma
Things did not get underway in the best manner in Latina as after just seven minutes of play, the players were called off of the pitch due to the conditions. The rain had been pouring all day and the pitch looked almost unplayable as the game kicked off.
The situation only got worse and it became clear to the referee, Cheryl Foster, that play could not proceed. The game originally kicked off at 18:45 CET and finally resumed at 20:15 CET.
Roma were relatively impressive without causing St. Poelten too many worries, although the Giallorossi should have been awarded a penalty in the first half. That anger was eased when they took the lead in the 34th minute.
Giugliano played one of her wonderful passes forward to Serturini who finished with superb composure past Carina Schluter. Roma came into the game knowing that just a draw would put them through to the quarter-final, and then they were in pole position.
AS Roma push and the floodgates open
Roma had clearly been sent out in the second half with the task of killing the game. They were regularly getting in behind and playing in crosses, but Valentina Giacinti did not appear to be on the same wavelength as Emilie Haavi and Serturini.
Despite so much Roma pressure, they were not able to find the breakthrough and it was actually St. Poelten who started to push forward, in the knowledge that they had to win the game to stay in the competition.
That left space for Roma and they got their second in the 82nd minute. Giacinti played a one-two with Sophie Roman Haug and got in on the left of the box. Her low shot hit both posts and trickled on the line before being poked in by Glionna.
That was immediately followed by a well-deserved goal for Giugliano as Glionna floated a great cross to the back post which she brought down and fired into the far top corner. Giugliano then added her second and Roma’s fourth as the ball was worked across the box and she slotted in from six yards to make it 4-0.
Roma were ruthless, and Glionna got her second to make it 5-0. She latched onto a through ball and finished calmly past Schluter, meaning she had two goals and an assist having come off the bench.
Roma now have 10 points from five games which is enough to take them through to the quarter-finals in their first-ever UWCL campaign. There is still a chance, although unlikely, that they can finish above Wolfsburg too.