Roma defeats El Salvador in friendly

July 27, 2012

Bojan Krkic's goal in the 62nd minute gave AS Roma a 2-1 victory over El Salvador on Friday night and sent the Serie A team back to Italy undefeated on its three-game US exhibition tour.

The match was marred by three altercations, with the most serious coming in the 80th minute when Panagiotis Tachtsidis tangled with a Salvadoran defender to bring on the game's second shower of debris from the stands. Tachtsidis was ejected and became enraged after being hit by what appeared to be a piece of fruit.

Three warnings about throwing objects from the stands were issued during the second half at Red Bull Arena, where fans of El Salvador outnumbered Roma supporters by about 5-to-1 in the crowd of 14,561.

Roma, which previously beat Polish club team Zaglebie Lubin 4-0 at Wrigley Field and the Barclays Premier League's Liverpool 2-1 in Fenway Park, was the aggressor throughout, with Erik Manuel Lamela getting ejected for fighting in the first half, when Serie A's seventh-place finisher outshot the Salvadoran national team 14-2.

Krkic scored when he slid a ball off the right goalpost, caroming it behind goalkeeper Dagoberto Portillo. Pablo Daniel Osvaldo gave Roma a 1-0 lead just 36 seconds into the game and Isidro Gutierrez equalized for El Salvador in the 49th minute.

Osvaldo, an Italian national team call-up who scored 11 goals in 26 league appearances for Roma last season, took a feed from near midfield and dribbled past defender Mardoqueo Henriquez down the right side, finding just enough space to square up and put a low shot into the left corner past Portillo.

El Salvador had few first-half chances, but turned the heat up in the second half, pressuring the ball after Roma coach Zdenek Zeman made wholesale changes at halftime. Among those taken out were US midfielder Michael Bradley, who is preparing for his first season with Roma, and Italy forward Francesco Totti.

Roma returns to Europe to prepare for its Serie A opener against Catania the weekend of Aug. 25-26.