Second to None in ’17-’18? (Snap Judgments: Tottenham Hotspur vs. A.S. Roma)

Robert Cole/ALOST
Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino was a little warmer with the media after the game than with the officials on the pitch during the game, which saw him get dismissed from the coaches area. (Robert Cole/ALOST)
Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino was a little warmer with the media after the game than with the officials on the pitch during it, which saw him get dismissed from the coaches area – yet he remained in defiance. (Robert Cole/ALOST)


akoiki-passport2 – by Adesina O. Koiki
A Lot of Sports Talk editor-in-chief


HARRISON, NJ — As much satisfaction as a second-place finish in one of Europe’s top football leagues should bring, both Tottenham Hotspur and A.S. Roma go into 2017-18 wanting to make sure that they’re the ones looking down from the top of the mountain, while ending long droughts in claiming league supremacy in the process.

The two powerhouses squared off in the shadows of New York City for a friendly as part of the International Champions Cup, with Roma coming away with a 3-2 victory after Marco Tumminello scored in the 92nd minute, the third of three second-half injury time goals in a frantic finish inside of Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J.

Just two months ago, Roma endured the same type of heart-stopping finish in its season finale, but with much more at stake: a place in the Champions League group stage and avoiding the playoff round. Diego Perotti, who scored the 90th minute winner against Genoa to clinch that Champions League group stage spot, opened the scoring tonight with a 13th minute penalty after a controversial hand ball penalty was called on defender Cameron Carter-Vickers. Spurs dominated possession in the second half but, against the run of play, Roma doubled its lead on a counterattack, with new signing Cengiz Ünder putting the finishing touch past Hugo Lloris in the 70th minute for a 2-0 advantage.

Tottenham, buoyed by the 26,192 spectators who were mostly attired in blue and white, mounted a furious comeback in the late stages of the game to dramatically level the contest. In the 87th minute, Christian Eriksen ran down the left flank before setting up fellow substitute Vincent Janssen, whose side-footed shot hit off of the foot of the post. Fortunately for Spurs, the ball bounced out to Harry Winks, who slotted the ball home from close range to cut the deficit in half.

Just 34 seconds into second-half injury time, Tottenham found the equalizer, with Janssen deflecting a Georges-Kévin N’koudou cross from the right into the net to level proceedings at two. About 30 seconds later, however, Roma was back in front on Tuminello’s sliding effort, steering a cross from Kevin Strootman past Lloris for the winner.

Roma go into this Serie A season as the main challenger to Juventus’ six-year stranglehold on the Scudetto, hoping to win its first Serie A title since 2001.

Tottenham, who finished second to London rivals Chelsea in the English Premier League last season, are looking to win its first First Division/Premier League title since the 1961.

Both teams play their third and final games of their tour of America this weekend, and do so against very familiar opponents. Tottenham plays fellow Premier League side Manchester City on Saturday in Nashville, while Roma travel north to the Boston area to take on reigning Serie A champions Juventus on Sunday.

*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from tonight’s game, with all photos taken by our senior photographer, Robert Cole. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are 29 pictures in total.

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