SCOTT PETERSON - Monday, January 9, 2012
The new year got off to a rough start for Michael Bradley and Chievo Verona as they started the 2012 in the Italian capital with a narrow defeat in Sunday Serie A action against AS Roma.
Bradley went the distance for the Flying Donkeys in midfield but his team came up short, succumbing to two Franceso Totti penalties.
The scoring opened in the 33rd minute as Totti blasted a penalty kick into the upper 90 past Chievo keeper Paolo Sorrentino after Roma striker Erik Lamela went to ground easily on French defender Nicolas Frey's challenge on the touchline. Chievo's protests fell on deaf ears as referee Russo pointed confidently to the spot.
Chievo should have equalized in the 63rd minute when Sergio Pellissier's cross found Davide Moscardelli all alone just a few yards in front of Maarten Stecklenberg's goal. But instead of taking the cross one-time, the Italian inexplicably took a touch, which in turn gave the Roman defense enough time to recover and close down, before he could get off a shot.
Their profligacy was punished just a few minutes later.
In the 75th minute, Chievo defender Bostjan Cesar was facing Roma striker Bojan Krkic in the box in a one-on-one situation.
When the Spaniard got around him, Cesar threw himself completely at the ball, which he could only manage to touch with his hand. Sorrentino guessed correctly on the ensuing penalty, but Totti converted again for the final 2-0 scoreline.
Next up for Chievo is a home date against the Sicilians from Palermo as US Palermo comes to town on Sunday.