Roma held to draw in friendly against Yokohama F. Marinos

Jose Mourinho’s Roma suffered a humbling 3-3 draw with Yokohama F. Marinos on their mid-season tour in Japan.

The Portuguese coach deployed an interesting starting 11 for the friendly, deploying experienced first team players like Tammy Abraham, Chris Smalling and Nemanja Matic alongside emerging talents, like Benjamin Tahirović and Filippo Missori. 

Yokohama started the match on the front foot and took the lead after just eight minutes, when Brazilian defender Eduardo’s header went under the legs of Roma goalkeeper Mile Svilar, giving the home side a 1-0 advantage.

The Japanese outfit maintained control throughout the first half and their efforts were rewarded just before the break, when Takuma Nishimura’s long shot ricocheted off the post and bounced off Svilar, who was unable to stop it entering the back of the net. 

Mourinho attempted to make a number of changes before the second half, taking off Tahirovic, Missori, Matic and Abraham and replacing them with Edoardo Bove, Cristian Volpato, Nicolo Zaniolo and Eldor Shomurodov.

The Giallorossi clawed one back in the 69th minute thanks to Zaniolo, who beat Yohei Takaoka with a powerful shot at the near post. Unfortunately for Mourinho and his squad, their smiles were quickly wiped away as Ken Matsubara netted Yokohama’s third just three minutes later. 

Two late goals from Roger Ibanez in the 84th minute and Shomurodov in the 93rd minute allowed Mourinho and Roma to save a little face, securing a 3-3 draw. Despite the result, the Portuguese coach will be happy with the response shown by his squad, although it’s clear that further work is needed in the fight for a top four finish. 

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