Dzeko hails ´patient´ Roma after narrow last-16 win

Carrie Guzman
March 14, 2018

The Bosnian striker scored the only goal of the second leg to put the Serie A side through on away goals against Shakhtar.

Roma have the benefit of an away goal from the first leg against Shakhtar Donetsk, but will need to score at least once to progress after losing 2-1.

Visiting keeper Andriy Pyatov was little troubled by a shot from Dzeko in the first minute and Shakhtar was generally better on the ball, though they could not translate that superiority into a goal.

Shakhtar shifted into a high press, creating openings for Roma on the counter and on one of those occasions, Ivan Ordets brought down Dzeko 20 yards from goal to earn a straight red card.

"My team played with focus tonight, perhaps without as much quality in the final third, but we knew that sooner or later they would make a mistake and we'd pounce on it", Di Francesco told Mediaset. The thing I liked the most was seeing them in the locker room, as this was a victory achieved by men and a group that goes forward together.

'We've won five of our last six in the league and we're into the last eight in Europe, so I am seeing growth in this team, ' the Roma coach said, as quoted on www.uefa.com.

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Alessandro Florenzi flicked a risky backwards header just wide of his own goal and a nervous home crowd witnessed the visitors maintaining a level of control throughout the first half, Pyatov intercepting when Aleksandar Kolarov led a rare Roma foray.

The home side came out with renewed goal in the second half and Dzeko delighted their vocal fans when he broke the deadlock with a trademark clinical finish.

Dzeko then looked to turn provider with an exquisite through-ball for Gerson on 73 minutes, but the Brazilian failed to test Pyatov with a poor strike from inside the box.

Roma hunkered down for the final minutes against a Shakhtar squad that battled to the very last second of the four minutes of added time.

"The standing ovation is not for me but for everyone, we are deservedly in the quarter-finals", said Dzeko of the applause which accompanied him off the pitch.

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