Feyenoord make Roma pay for missed chances
Thursday, February 19, 2015
AS Roma 1-1 Feyenoord
Gervinho gave the home side the lead before being made to pay for a pair of missed chances when Colin Kazım Richards equalised.
Article top media content
• Gervinho scores opener for Roma but misses two good chances
• Colin Kazım Richards equalises for Feyenoord
• Roma now without a win in six European matches
• The second leg is next Thursday in Rotterdam, with the last 16 draw the following day
AS Roma were held to a 1-1 home draw by Feyenoord in an evenly matched encounter that leaves their UEFA Europa League round of 32 tie finely balanced.
Gervinho steered Roma in front with his first goal since returning from the Africa Cup of Nations, but the Ivorian forward failed to convert two simpler chances which might have put his side out of reach. Paying for those spurned openings, the Giallorrosi were pegged back by Colin Kazım Richards after the break.
The attention of Luke Wilkshire caused Gervinho to steer wide of an open goal in the early stages, yet he atoned for that miss when he escaped the Australian's attentions for his 22nd-minute opening strike, deftly flicking in a low cross from Vasilis Torosidis. Feyenoord were struggling to deal with the pace and movement down Roma's right flank and Gervinho could have had another from Daniele Verde's centre, but his touch let him down at the crucial moment.
Kazım Richards showed a glimpse of his threat towards the end of the first half when he forced a smart save from Łukasz Skorupski, before he equalised thanks to a slice of fortune in the 55th minute. Skorupski acrobatically tipped a Jens Toornstra header against the post, yet that left the Roma goalkeeper out of position – and Turkey forward Kazım Richards was able to produce a simple volleyed finish into the unguarded net.
Roma sought to steal back the initiative when a chance fell to substitute Seydou Doumbia, but he was denied his first goal for his new club by a last-gasp tackle. Ultimately, that proved sufficient to earn the visitors a worthy draw ahead of the second leg in the Netherlands next Thursday.