A crowd of 33,039 fans desceneded upon Gillette Stadium Sunday afternoon to watch a showdown between Serie A powers Juventus and AS Roma. The match served as the capstone contest for the International Champions Cup.
And in the end, it lived up to the hype, with Juventus gutting out a win in penalty kicks.
The first 25 minutes of action saw both sides create a handful of promising chances, though Juventus asserted itself as the more active side. Croatian forward Mario Mandžukić capitalized by giving Juventus a lead in the 29th minute. Mandžukić received a pass down the left channel from Alex Sandro, rounded Roma goalkeeper Alisson and slotted a shot into the back of the net.
For the remainder of the first half, Roma built momentum on the backs of Diego Perotti and Edin Dzeko. The two interchanged well on three different occassions but failed to break the Juventus back four. Roma ultimately went into halftime down a goal.
In stride with the remainder of the tournament, both clubs made changes at halftime: two for Roma, and five for Juventus. That didn’t alter the flow of the match, however, as Roma continued to look lively at the onset of the second half.
In the 74th minute, Dzeko finally found a way through for Roma when he arrived on the end of a seeing-eye pass from defender Aleksandar Kolarov. Dzeko tapped in a close-range equalizer with ease.
Despite a resurgence of attacking chances for Juventus, the two sides ended regulation in a 1-1 deadlock, sending the tournament’s final match into penalty kicks.
Marco Tumminello steppped up to the spot first for Roma, but failed to convert with a shot to the bottom right corner. That miss proved insurmountable, as Juventus buried each of its spot kicks to hand Roma its second penalty-kick loss of the tournament.
The pre-season will proceed in short order for both clubs, with Roma squaring off with Sevilla and Juventus facing Tottenham.