Marco Borriello is already looking forward to the resumption of the UEFA Champions League after scoring in AS Roma's 1-1 draw with CFR 1907 Cluj which confirmed the Italian side's place in the knockout phase.
Roma needed a point in Romania to secure second spot in Group E as runners-up behind FC Bayern München and Borriello set them on their way with a 21st-minute strike. Lacina Traoré drew CFR level two minutes from time but with FC Basel 1893 losing in Munich, Roma's round of 16 place was never in doubt.
"I'm absolutely delighted we'll be returning to this great competition in February," said the 28-year-old forward who is enjoying a new lease of life in Rome since signing on loan from AC Milan last summer. "Fortunately Basel didn't win in Munich, that helped us progress."
The Italian international, Roma's four-goal leading marksman in the competition this season, might even have won the game for his team, but sent one shot narrowly wide from a tight angle and had a powerful drive parried by goalkeeper Eduard Stăncioiu. "I could have had a second goal in the second half, but that's football," Borriello said. "
Our objective here was to secure qualification for the next round. We've done that and I'm very happy."
Midfielder Matteo Brighi, who had scored twice in a 3-1 victory on Roma's last visit to Cluj in November 2008, felt Roma should have won. "We created lots of chances in the second half but unfortunately didn't take them. We are a bit annoyed with ourselves as we didn't finish them off, and then lost concentration at the end which allowed them to equalise."
CFR took solace in ending a run of four straight Group E defeats. "We can be happy about the result, 1-1 is a good score," Angolan international Dominique Kivuvu said. "It's a good end to our Champions League campaign. We beat Basel [on Matchday 1] and then the points deserted us, but we did well today." Goalkeeper Stăncioiu added: "We wanted to leave this competition with a good impression for our supporters. I think we did that."
©UEFA.com 1998-2016. All rights reserved.