VERONA, Italy (Reuters) - AS Roma were held to a 0-0 draw at Verona in their opening Serie A game of the season on Saturday as they began a new era under the ownership of the Texas-based Friedkin Group who took over the club last month.
Verona hit the woodwork in each half while Roma also struck the bar but otherwise gave a disjointed performance in front of billionaire owner Dan Friedkin and his son Ryan, who both saw the match on a balmy evening at the Bentegodi stadium.
The Veneto regional government had given permission for up to 1,000 fans to watch the game but the club did not have time to sell tickets, instead inviting a small number of friends and relatives of club employees.
Striker Edin Dzeko was left on the bench by Roma amid speculation that he could join Juventus while Pedro made his debut following his move from Chelsea.
Henrik Mkhitaryan broke clear of the Verona defence six minutes before halftime but saw his shot blocked by Marco Silvestri’s leg and Verona nearly snatched the lead when Adrien Tameze’s shot was deflected onto the bar.
Verona were more dangerous after the break and Samuel Di Carmine should have done better with a free header from Tameze’s cross but sent his effort over the bar.
Then Federico Dimarco caught Roma goalkeeper Antonio Mirante off his guard with a looping effort but it hit the crossbar.
Then it was Roma’s turn to strike the woodwork when Leonardo Spinazzola smashed a long-range effort against the crossbar with three minutes left.
Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Ken Ferris and Ian Chadband
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