Como win stuns AS Roma

January 25, 2003

ROME, Jan 25 (Reuters) - AS Roma's disappointing season touched new depths on Saturday when they were beaten 2-0 by Serie A whipping boys Como.

Roma's 6-3 Italian Cup win over Vicenza midweek raised expectations that they would easily dispatch Como, who were without a league victory all season.

But second-from-bottom Como keeper Alex Brunner performed a series of stunning saves to keep his side in the game before two late strikes clinched a shock win.

Roma striker Marco Delvecchio, Vincenzo Montella and Francesco Totti all went close in the first 20 minutes, before Brunner pulled off the best save of the match in the 45th minute, tipping Totti's shot round the post with an outstretched leg.

It was the same story in the second half as Brunner was forced to parry a 57th-minute point blank shot by Totti.

Como's luck, however, changed in the 80th minute when Roma defender Traianos Dellas was sent off for a second bookable offence.

But two minutes later Como were ahead after midfielder Vedin Music rifled a diagonal pass into the net from the edge of the area.

ROMA BROKEN

Roma were broken and striker Benito Carbone doubled the home side's advantage in injury time, finishing off a counter-attack with a neat left-footed shot that left keeper Francesco Antonioli stranded.

After the match Como coach Eugenio Fascetti told reporters Roma had wasted their chances.

'Roma let us off the hook in the first half and paid the price at the end,' he said. 'We didn't play well in the first part of the match. We gave up too much space, but they didn't profit from it.

'From the point of view of the league table - and from a psychological angle - these are three very important points.'

In an earlier match, Atalanta hauled themselves further out of the Serie A relegation zone after goals by midfielders Ousmane Dabo and Alex Pinardi gave them a 2-0 away win over Modena.

The result followed Atalanta's 2-1 defeat of AS Roma a week ago and suggested that the Bergamo-based team are belatedly finding the form that took them to a ninth place finish last season.

At first it seemed the visitors would be in for a tough night, as Modena surged forward and a 10th-minute shot by striker Diomansy Kamara flew narrowly over the bar.

But after half an hour Atalanta began to press and in the 35th minute took the lead when a mistimed clearance by Modena's Giuseppe Colucci fell to Dabo, whose powerful shot from outside the area beat keeper Marco Ballotta.

Modena coach Gianni De Biasi brought on Italian under-21 striker Giuseppe Sculli at the beginning of the second half to bolster his attack, but the closest his side came to scoring was midfielder Omar Milanetto's 52nd-minute free kick, which struck the post.

The match see-sawed, but Atalanta wrapped it up with five minutes remaining. Midfielder Alex Pinardi held off two defenders, waited for Ballotta to come off his line and beat him with a right-footed shot.