Second-half substitute Leandro Cufré scored a late winner as AS Roma earned an unconvincing Group E victory against Trømso IL in Norway.
The Argentinian was brought on just after the hour as the Roma coach Luciano Spalletti sought to regain the lead after Ole Martin Årst had cancelled out Samuel Kuffour's opener. The attacking move proved the catalyst for a sustained spell of dominance from the Giallorossi, and the pressure eventually told with six minutes remaining when a defensive mix-up let Cufré steal three points with a powerful shot from ten metres. The match did end on a sour note for the Serie A side, however, when Simone Perrotta was dismissed.
It completed a fiery finale to the game for Roma, a stark contrast with the tepidness they demonstrated at the start of the match, as they struggled to deal with the difficult conditions at the Alfheim stadium. Trømso looked far more comfortable, and Brazilian goalkeeper Marangon was called upon to make early saves from Joachim Walltin, Karim Essediri and Lars Ivar Strand.
Marangon was forced into action again shortly after the half-hour mark to tip Essediri's cross-shot over at the expense of a corner. The dead ball was swung in by Hans Åge Yndestad, and the lively Walltin's header looked to be heading in before the overworked Roma goalkeeper spectacularly clawed it away. The save finally spurred the visitors into action and, totally against the run of play, they took the lead moments later when Ghanaian defender Kuffour headed in Christian Panucci's corner.
Aarst drew Trømso level with a volley three minutes before the interval, but Spalletti's side emerged for the second half with much more hunger. Only a goalline clearance from Ole Andreas Nilsen deprived Daniele De Rossi on 56 minutes, and the substitute then rattled the crossbar with a header with less than 15 minutes remaining. Stephan Ademolu missed a gilt-edged chance to give the home side the advantage moments later, firing wide when it looked easier to score, and Cufré made them pay.
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