Osvaldo secures win as Roma sign deal with Disney
Mar 19, 2012, 22:52 GMT
Rome - Pablo Osvaldo scored Roma's early winner Monday in a 1-0 defeat of Genoa that boosted the Giallorossi's chase of a Champions League berth in the Italian Serie A.
The Rome side moved within four points of third place, which allows to play the preliminary round of the elite tournament, and lie three points from the Europa League zone with 10 games remaining.
'It is important that we won,' said Osvaldo, who ended a three-month drought filled for the most part by an injury lay-off.
'I wanted to score because 2012 started very badly for me. It was an important win because we now are close to a European berth. We are slowly finding our balance and identity, we did not play very well upfront, but we fought hard in defence.'
The Giallorossi missed their injured captain Francesco Totti at the Stadio Olimpico, but had Osvaldo in good form as he returned from a two-game ban.
The striker on three minutes had the better of Marco Rossi on the left flank and stunned Sebastien Frey into the far corner, then fired wide when he came face to face with the French custodian and threatened with a high drive before the break.
Leandro Greco also came close when he forced a difficult save from the distance before Daniele De Rossi had smashing shot saved.
Genoa failed to threaten with strikers Alberto Gilardino and Rodrigo Palacio and missed their best chance in the first half when Fernando Belluschi fired onto Dutch goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg.
Erik Lamela's great shot was blocked early after the break, but Roma risked seriously when Gilardino dithered after being set up by a blunder from Rodrigo Taddei.
There was tension for the home crowd until the whistle as Genoa kept pressing, while Bojan Krkic and substitute Marquinho both had a couple of chances saved and Osvaldo forced one more save for the in-form Frey with one minute left.
Genoa's best chance went begging with 19 minutes left as Palacio hit the bar from close range.
The hard-fought win came hours after club announced the signing of a six-year deal with the Walt Disney Company to hold their winter training in Orlando, Florida, where the US media conglomerate owns the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex.
'It is the first of the many steps we will take in the US,' said Mark Pannes, the director general in the management team that US entrepreneur Thomas DiBenedetto set up since buying the club last year.
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