February 21, 2018 / 11:28 PM / 10 months ago

Roma coach fumes at second-half collapse

Soccer Football - Champions League Round of 16 First Leg - Shakhtar Donetsk vs AS Roma - Metalist Stadium, Kharkiv, Ukraine - February 21, 2018 Roma coach Eusebio Di Francesco gestures REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

KHARKIV, Ukraine (Reuters) - AS Roma coach Eusebio Di Francesco was left angry and baffled by their second-half collapse against Shakhtar Donestk on Wednesday, saying he felt as if he had fielded two different teams in the Champions League tie.

The Serie A side looked comfortable as they led 1-0 at halftime but the Ukrainian champions hit back to win 2-1 in the round-of-16 first-leg tie and could have scored more had it not been for Roma goalkeeper Alisson.

“It was as if we fielded two different teams tonight,” said Di Francesco. “The difference was that in the first half, we played to hurt them and in second we sat back which I don’t understand.

“We conceded a goal from a move started by their central defender which was easy to read, which is annoying, but that mistake doesn’t justify our performance at the end,” he added.

“We committed schoolboy mistakes from players who have international experience.”

However, he found some praise for Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson.

“He has presence in goal and he makes the difficult saves look easy,” he said. “I like the way he interprets the role. He is turning into a great goalkeeper.”

Writing by Brian Homewood in Bern; Editing by Toby Davis

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