Roma advanced to the Europa League semi-finals with a 3-2 cumulative victory over Ajax Amsterdam after Edin Dzeko’s late equalizer drew 1-1 at home on Thursday.
The Italian side will now face Manchester United, who beat Granada 2-0 overnight and 4-0 overall in their second leg quarter-final, for a place in the final next month.
Brian Brobbey struck for Ajax four minutes after his halftime introduction, but Dzeko’s 72nd minute evened the scores in the second leg of the quarter-finals.
Edin Dzeko scored the equalizer as Roma booked their place in Europa League semi-finals
ROMA (3-4-2-1): López, Mancini, Cristante, Ibañez da Silva, Karsdorp, Diawara, Veretout, Calafiori (Villarat 81), Pellegrini, Mkhitaryan (Pedroat 87), Dzeko (Mayoralat 80)
BUT: Dzeko 72
AJAX (4-3-3): Stekelenburg, Klaiber (Schuurs 22 / Idrissi 83), Timber, Martínez, Tagliafico, Klaassen, Álvarez (Kudus 70), Gravenberch, dos Santos (Brobbey 45), Tadic, Neres Campos (Traoré 83)
BUT: Brobbey 49
The visitors dominated possession and had a second goal disallowed for a foul by Nicolas Tagliafico, but struggled to break through a resolute home defense again despite a late attack.
“We had more problems in Amsterdam, but today we controlled them well,” Roma coach Paulo Fonseca told Sky Italia. “Ajax are a very strong team with great quality, but defensively we played a great game. “
The capital club are Italy’s last representative in European competition this season, and the clash with United will be their first European semi-final since a 7-6 loss to Liverpool in the 2017/18 Champions League.
“It’s satisfying. Reaching a semi-final is a source of pride, we represent Italy at the moment, it is a source of pride for Roma, ”added Fonseca.
Roma threatened early on as Lorenzo Pellegrini sprinted half the length of the pitch but was disappointed with a weak finish, and Jordan Veretout’s close effort was ruled out for offside.
The visitors’ best chance in the first half came thanks to a mistake by Roma when Antony intercepted a reckless pass from goalkeeper Pau Lopez and cut a cross to Davy Klaassen, but the midfielder was denied by a crucial blockage of Amadou Diawara.
Former Manchester City striker scored the equalizer in the 72nd minute
Ajax held 75% of the possession in the first half without finding a breakthrough, but it ultimately happened four minutes into the second half when 19-year-old Brobbey grabbed a long ball and hit a arrival beyond Lopez.
It was the Dutch U-21 forward’s third goal from the Europa League bench this season, more than any other player.
Ajax were in the ascendant and found the net when Dusan Tadic shot at home after a Lopez save but his effort was denied following a VAR review for a previous Tagliafico foul on Henrikh Mkhitaryan .
Roma’s chances were tight, but striker Dzeko clinically took his own when a deflected cross fell into the Bosnian’s way at the back post for a tap-in.
Sub Brian Brobbey gave Ajax hope by leveling the tie four minutes after halftime
Ajax striker lifted the ball over the advancing goalkeeper to open the scoring