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Juventus edges Roma in closing ICC match

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Juventus edged Roma on Sunday afternoon in penalty kicks after a 1-1 draw, marking the end of each squad’s International Champions Cup spell before 33,039 fans at Gillette Stadium.

The Serie A foes both deployed first-string sides, with Juve finding the breakthrough in the 29th minute via Mario Mandzukic's tip-toeing run. Corralling a through ball from left back Alex Sandro, the Croatian forward rounded Alisson and deposited.

Not to be outdone, his opposite striker, Edin Dzeko, clawed one back for I Giallorossi in the 74th minute. After some incisive interplay between Gerson and Aleksandar Kolarov, the Bosnian deposited a low cross from the left back past a helpless Carlo Pinsoglio in goal.

Deadlocked after 90 minutes, the Italian clubs headed to the penalty spot, where one Roma mishit was the difference. Marco Tumminello saw his opening strike saved by Pinsoglio, after which Juve went a perfect 5-for-5, with Bayern Munich loanee Douglas Costa smashing home the game-winner.

“This tournament was very good for us,” Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri said through a translator. “We’re very thankful and appreciative for all who hosted us.”

Roma manager Eusebio Di Francesco was similarly pleased with his group’s growth throughout the tournament, offering praise for right back Bruno Peres, midfielder Maxime Gonalons and Dzeko.

“I think the positives are more than the negative today because it takes time to learn a new style of play,” Di Francesco said.

Before the match went to penalty kicks, Roma and Juventus both had golden opportunities to decide the affair.

Pushing for an equalizer, Kevin Strootman was denied by the crossbar in the 51st minute. The Dutch midfielder, fed by Peres, made a late run and unleashed from 20 yards, beating Gianluigi Buffon but not the upright.

Juventus next came closest via a probing run from Douglas Costa. The winger cut in from the right and bent a left-footed shot which Alisson parried back into traffic. Waiting for the rebound was Gonzalo Higuain, but the Argentine's follow-up attempt was saved by Alisson and went out for a corner kick.

Di Francesco, particularly, was pleased with his team’s showing: “In the second half we played more practical football, which I liked.”

While moments of class shone through – the goals from Mandzukic and Dzeko, as well as Allison’s stout presence in net – both managers looked ahead to the impending Serie A campaign.

For Roma, that means visiting Atalanta on Aug. 20, while Juve welcomes Cagliari on Aug 19 and takes on Lazio in the Supercoppa Italiana on Aug. 13. Mindful of that, they’ll both return to Europe with three valuable matches stateside in hand and look to build upon last year, one that saw Juve went the scudetto and Roma finish second.

“The competition to win the scudetto will be very challenging,” Allegri said, adding that winning a seventh straight is a difficult proposition.