Roma's Win Confirms PSG's Exit From The Tournament
Roma clinched top spot in Group B with a two-goal victory over last year’s runners-up Kashiwa Reysol, although their second goal didn’t come until the very last action of the match.
The result suited both teams as Kashiwa still progress from the group stages at the expense of reigning champions PSG, due to the three-time winners crashing 5-2 against Roma two days earlier.
It was a game of two halves as Japanese side Kashiwa were the better side in the opening 45 minutes, but after the break Roma began to show the class that had torn PSG to pieces.
Kashiwa started brightly, with Seitoamanueru Omori (twice), Naito Saito and Takuma Otake all trying their luck at goal.
For all the pressure by Kashiwa, it was Roma who almost took the lead after half-an-hour when Riccardo Ciervo cut in from the right and fired a left-foot shot beyond the keeper’s outstretched hand but it bounced back off the underside of the bar.
Kashiwa enjoyed 56% possession in the first half but Roma looked much brighter in the second half and Matteo Cancellieri got plenty of power behind a long-range effort but it was comfortably saved.
Ten minutes into the second half Roma took the lead when Nicola Zalewski received the ball out on the left and he burst into penalty area before unleashing a low drive that gave the keeper no chance.
Cancellieri had another opportunity on goal midway through the second half but his freekick failed to trouble the keeper.
Kashiwa had netted a last-gasp equalizer against PSG in their opening match but any hopes of snatching anything from this game disappeared when they conceded a penalty in the fourth and final minute of added on time.
The decision, made with the assistance of VAR, was given for handball and Daniel Tueto Fotso stepped up to give Massato Sasaki no chance with his spot-kick.
The result was no less than Roma deserved with Tommaso Milanese pulling the strings in midfield, and they can now look forward to Monday’s quarter-finals with confidence.