SCOTT PETERSON - Monday, August 27, 2012
Michael Bradley notched an assist in injury time in his Roma debut as the Giallorossi come back twice to earn a point against Catania in the Serie A opener.
Roma came out of the locker room nervous, failing to click offensively and turning the ball over often. Bradley was no different, picking up his first yellow of the season in the seventh minute after losing the ball in a dangerous position before correcting his error by fouling Alejandro Gomez from behind.
The guests from Sicily took a deserved lead in the 28th minute. Sergio Almiron fired in a shot from the top of the box, which took a deflection to Giovanne Marchese. The Italian, who appeared to have come back from an offside position, collected and finished calmly past Maaten Stekelenburg.
With as out of sorts as they were in the opening 45, Roma welcomed the interval to regroup, down a goal.
Roma took the initiative from the opening whistle of the second half, pressing earlier and moving more fluidly on and off the ball.
The hosts drew even in the 59th minute when Daniel Osvaldo spectacularly fired home, scissor-kicking Danielle de Rossi's deft one-time chip.
With the Giallorossi exuding confidence and controlling the match, Catania struck back against the run of play on the counterattack. Francesco Lodi split open the defense with a clinical pass to Gomez, who nutmegged Stekelenburg from close range in the 69th minute.
With the second 45 nearly up, Bradley lofted a pinpoint ball over the defense to substitute Nicolas Lopez. The 19-year old Uruguayan then popped the ball over his marker and thumped in a left-footed volley in the first minute of second-half stoppage time.
Bradley and Roma will look to build off of the point as the Giallorossi travel to Milan to take on Inter next Sunday.