The Roma ladies started their European adventure earlier this week, taking on Glasgow City in Scotland. Roma was very promising in their Champions League debut as they underwent their first round of qualifiers. Bernadetta Gilonna stole the show against Glasgow City with two goals and an assist in what was an eventual 3–1 victory. For their second round of qualifiers, we would be back in Scotland again, taking on a Paris FC. The French side has some really special individual talents in Midfield and in goal. They were going to present a level of challenge. Paris FC finished third in the French League last season, only behind PSG and Lyon. Another team that has some experience in the Champions League as it would be another test for the Romans. Away through Paris would put them into the playoff round, where they would have to undergo a two-leged affair to qualify for the group stage. A performance and advancement would put this Roma side on the doorstep of the group stage. It is a new look for Roma as they undergo another test in Scotland against Paris FC as the events would unravel.
The Champions League journey continues as the Roma ladies are ready to do battle against Paris FC in Scotland in the second round of the preliminary qualifying stage of this season’s Champions League. Once again, the inexperience resides with the Romans. Paris FC has been here before and only finished a few points behind PSG in the French league last season. A PSG team that made the Champions League semifinal. Paris showed their qualities throughout the first half as they had the first dangerous attempt at goal. One of the ones to watch for Paris FC is Ouleymata Sarr. She has the pace athleticism packeted with an extremely quick movement and positioning. Sarr cut through the midfield on that left wing. Finding just enough space as she attempts to steer at home. Looking for the bottom right corner, but she hits it a little too soon as it misses down the pipe as the attempted strike goes past the right post. A very aggressive start for the French base club. As we expected, they have proven to be the test that they were expecting. Roma looks to hit back on a free kick in a dangerous position. Andressa Alves steps over the free kick as she attempts to launch the ball into the corner. It was well-hit and executed. Coming quite close but ultimately missed the mark in the end. This was a game that was going to be end-to-end, with both Paris and Roma having comfortability with the ball getting into attacking areas. As they grew into the game, the inexperienced Romans got some confidence behind them. Roma found a way to get into a dangerous position and nearly scored in the end. Pamela Lazaro had a defender on her back as she retrieved the ball in an uncomfortable position. She sends a missile to the right side. Bernadetta Gilonna collected before going off to the races showing her pace and athleticism going down that side. Beating a couple of Paris shirts before whipping it into Haavi as her shot on goal was deflected due to the number of bodies that Paris FC has in the area. Paris FC hit back with a very dangerous sequence that nearly could have gone very differently. They pressed high, getting into a counter-attacking situation. Roma’s defense handles it well. However, parents nearly found the back of the net as a fired strike at the Roma goal was cleared with a goal-line clearance before Camellia Caesar punched the ball away. Ending the first half with still a lot up for grabs.
Both Roma and Paris proving to be dangerous going forward. Roma got right back at it. Nearly taking advantage of a set piece. Coming off a corner. The ball hooked in, landing at Moeka Minami following through, but Chiamaka Nnadozie was there to make the save. Before not too long, they had another set piece. A very deep free kick not far off from the half line. Bernadetta Glionna goes deep into her bag with power, hitting an extremely deep free kick that hit off the crossbar. A huge moment for the Romans as it felt like they were starting to really tap into it. Near the end of the first half, They were a few more chances from both teams. Bartoli was nearly dispossessed by the French defense but managed to keep the ball in, pushing forward past a couple of defenders before finding Valentina g in the box, but once again, the keeper came up with the safe. Sarr came close to scoring again, but the defensive pressure soaked up the moment and managed to prevent an opening goal. Manuela Giugliano responded with a good touch and then turn before ripping off a deep strike that came close but landed on the top of the net. Then to end the second, Louise flurry put the Roman defense under pressure again with a strike for my dangerous position while closing down couldn’t open the scoring. As the 90 minutes were near the up, The game was going to head into extra time.
Roma and Paris FC proving to be a critical matchup for both of their European campaigns. As they were undergoing an extensive test on a Champions League Sunday night. Paris FC did what they could to get into a dangerous position by attempting a different approach. A cheeky cross coming from the right side. Nearly could have done some extensive damage, but Camellia Ceasar rises up, punching the ball over the net to get Roma out of danger. Paris FC nearly breaks coming off a corner into the box. A header is thrust at the Roma goal hitting the bar. Roma glides forward, trying to find a way in. Pamela Lazaro from inside the box takes a touch losing the defender before turning in, striking at the near post with the goalkeeper manages to push it out as extra time was all about gone heading to the dreaded penalty shootout. Paris FC kicks first Gaëtane Thiney laces the ball into the top corner. Paris leads the shootout 1–0. Manuela Giugliano goes to the right, beating the goalkeeper 1–1. Clara Matéo denied by Camellia Caesar, making a tremendous save with her foot. Alves converts for Roma, making it 2–1 with the momentum with them. Paris sees Ouleymata Sarr Stick the ball into the right corner 2–2. Anna Serturini laces it into the back of the net 3–2. Théa Greboval beats Cescar 3–3. Elena Linari not a problem as Roma stays in front 4–3. Annaïg Butel converts to keep Paris FC alive. And then to take the final potential penalty would be Emilie Haavi, but the Norwegian steps up and delivers, sending a strike into the back of the net as Roma advance on to the next round of the Champions League as she runs towards her teammates with the entire Roman coaching staff and players embrace and celebration. The Roma ladies are one step closer to the group stage.
It certainly turned out to be a test, but perhaps a test that they needed. The Roma ladies qualified for the Champions League for the first time in club history last season. They did well to show their qualities against Glasgow City. The Scottish Champions. They got through that first hurdle, and they conquered different ones on Sunday. A very tough and enthralling 120 minutes as we struggled to find a goal in it. It was end-to-end with high-quality chances from both sides. Took some time for the game to get its feet underneath it. Despite the attacking talent, both goalkeepers stepped up to the plate and managed to perform at the highest level. Keeping things square after 120 minutes as I had to settle for a penalty shootout. Camellia Caesar ended up showing her mentality and toughness, coming up with the save to see them go through. Roma made all five of their penalties showing their ability to handle pressure at the moment. Roma won the Copa Italia two years ago on penalties, and they come up big again as the European journey continues. Room for growth, of course, but strong performance as they conquer another obstacle on the road to the Champions League group stages. Their opponent has not been announced, and is unclear who will be the team that stands in the way of them reaching the group stage. Roma opens their season in the league this weekend as they are hoping to carry the momentum of their European success so far into a season in which they’re optimistic about their chances of claiming glory.