By Stephen Bark
Glasgow City’s Champions League adventure for 2022-23 started off with defeat to Roma at Petershill Park.
A double from Benedetta Glionna sandwiched a City equaliser before Paloma Lázaro sealed victory for the Italians.
City made two changes to the side that had defeated Motherwell at the weekend with Desirée Monsiváis making her home debut and Clare Walsh coming in for Kinga Kozak and Abbi Grant.
The home side started brightly and earned a corner inside two minutes. Hayley Lauder stepped up to deliver the ball and her cross thundered off the crossbar without any intervention before spinning behind for a goal kick.
However, 10 minutes later Roma took the lead with their first chance of the match when Glionna’s shot was too much for Lee Gibson in the City goal despite her best efforts.
City rallied, buoyed by a capacity crowd at Petershill, and were back level within 10 minutes. A counterattack from a Roma corner saw Clare shine feed Lauder on the left and her cross for Monsiváis was turned into her own goal by Moeka Minami.
Roma looked to hit back quickly and Manuela Giugliano picked up the ball in space 25 yards out but her shot was saved by Gibson. Emilie Haavi then set up Andressa Alves whose shot was blocked before Glionna’s effort from the resulting corner was cleared off the line.
Gibson did well to keep the scores level first by saving from Valentina Giacinti before making a superb reaction save from Haavi’s deflected close-range effort.
City did have the chance to go in ahead at the break when Lauder’s free-kick fell for Meikayla Moore in the box but she couldn’t keep her shot down.
The first chance after the break also fell the way of the home side. Excellent work by Shine won back possession in the middle of the field and she played the ball through for substitute Priscilla Chinchilla but her effort was well held by Camelia Ceasar.
At the other end, Giacinti had the chance to put Roma back in front but she couldn’t direct her header on target.
It wasn’t long though before the Italians were back in front when a perfect slide rule pass found Glionna and she fired the ball across Gibson and into the far corner for her second of the evening.
Moments later, it was almost three when Jenna Clark’s header clear fell for Giugliano but her effort was turned round the post by Gibson.
City then looked to hit Roma on the counter again when Chinchilla played the ball wide for Lauren Davidson. She drove forwards before cutting inside and tried curling an effort towards the far post but Ceasar parried it into the path of Chinchilla who could only volley over the crossbar.
A mistake at the back then gave Roma a golden opportunity and one they wouldn’t pass over. Glionna picked up the ball before squaring it for substitute Lázaro who slotted the ball beyond Gibson.
Time might have been against them but City weren’t giving up hope. Kinga Kozak played the ball through for Chinchilla but her first-time effort was saved by Ceasar.
City will now play Servette on Sunday in their second match of the UEFA Women’s Champions League before returning to league duty the following weekend.
Glasgow City: Gibson, Muir (Chinchilla 46), Lauder, Walsh, Fulton, Monsiváis (Whelan 85), Shine (Kozak 80), Clark, Davidson, More, Greening. Subs not used: Clachers, Easdon, Bora, Grant, Gibb, Perea, Foley, Noble.
Roma: Ceasar, Minami, Di Guglielmo (Wenninger 46), Alves (Cinotti 87), Giacinti (Lázaro 54), Giugliano, Haavi (Serturini 68), Bartoli, Glionna (Haug 87), Greggi, Linari. Subs not used: Öhrström, Lind, Kajzba, Ferrara, Bergersen, Kollmats, Zannini.
Glasgow City: Minami (o.g.) 20
Roma: Glionna 12, 59, Lázaro 81
Roma: Di Guglielmo 41, Lázaro 69
Referee: Ainara Andrea Acevedo Dudley
Stadium: Petershill Park