Goals from Edin Dzeko and Carles Perez saw Roma progress towards the Europa League’s round of 16 as they defeated Sporting Clube de Braga by 3-1 at the Stadio Olimpico on Thursday, claiming a 5-1 aggregate win.
A lack of urgency from both sides dominated the start of the first half, as Roma managed only three attempts in the first 20 minutes, all of which were blocked. Meanwhile, Braga failed to force any attempts whatsoever.
The scores was quickly opened though. Stephan El Shaarawy tried a left-side curler to only hit the post, though Dzeko was on hand to rebound, scoring his third consecutive goal in the competition making it three in six this season.
Braga reacted in the 33rd minute and Pau Lopez had to make up for an El Shaarawy mistake. The Italian gave up the hosts gave up the ball, sending Andraz Sporar through on goal, giving the Roma ‘keeper a chance to make an excellent stop and thus sustaining the lead.
Excitement kept on building though as Pedro received a neat cutback from Il Faraone, and with enough space and time, the Spaniard somehow failed to keep it on target, seeing the ball blasting off the woodwork.
Substitutes Carles Perez and Lorenzo Pellegrini had the chance to affect the game. The former was fouled in the box and paved the way for what looked to be another goal, the latter though refused the offer as he sprung his shot from wide from the spot.
Pellegrini made up for his wasted penalty as he sent a precise curling cross from the edge of the box towards the other side for the determined Perez to make it two with 15 minutes lefts on the clock.
Two goals came in the last few minutes at each end. Bryan Cristante deflected a cross into his own net before a brilliant attack from Roma concluded with a Borja Mayoral goal to sealed the result.