Saturday was an historic day for AS Roma, as Roma Women played in their first ever game in Serie A.
The Giallorosse, managed by coach Betty Bavagnoli, saw their dreams of a dream debut in the Italian top flight dashed in painful fashion – as a dubious penalty decision and unfortunate own goal saw them come out on the wrong end of a 3-2 defeat away to Sassuolo.
Two goals behind at the break at the Stadio Comunale di San Polo d'Enza, forward Annamarie Serturini grabbed Roma Women’s historic first competitive goal from the penalty spot on the hour-mark.
Striker Martina Piemonte then fired home with 10 minutes remaining to set up a dramatic finish – but a late equaliser would agonisingly elude Betty Bavagnoli’s team.
Roma’s next game is scheduled to be against Tavagnacco at Stadio Tre Fontane on September 29.
“I want to be objective about it; we did not do well throughout the 90 minutes, we gifted them a lot, with individual errors,” Bavagnoli said.
“I think the emotion of the occasion cost us a bit. We prepared well, but at times we didn’t execute as we wanted.”
The coach added: “I was pleased with the effort shown in the second half, we tried to get back into the game and perhaps we would have done without the the own goal. We need to forget about the mistakes, wash our hands and go again.
“I thought we deserved a draw, I was pleased with the effort of the girls.”
Sassuolo, long established in women's football, took the lead from the penalty spot early in the first half - and had a comfortable 2-0 advantage at the break after converting clinically on the counter-attack.
They were always under pressure, however, with Piemonte frustrated on more than occasion prior to Serturini's goal from the spot.
“We created a lot of chances but struggled with the final ball,” Serturini reflected afterwards.
“We were tentative when we needed to take our chances in front of goal, we need to have a bit more conviction.
“Since August I have known what it means to wear the Roma shirt. It's a great honour.
"We missed a few players but that is not an excuse, we are all starters here, we need to do better but if we keep calm and focused the results will come.”