Roma Prodigy Over Moon After Match-Winning Performance in Genoa

Teenage sensation Felix Afena-Gyan notched up a late brace to catapult Roma to a crucial 2-0 win away to Genoa on Sunday night. The 18-year-old joined the fray as Jose Mourinho’s wild card and spoiled Andriy Shevchenko’s managerial debut in Serie A with a breathtaking, match-winning performance.

After suffering back-to-back league defeats on the eve of the international break, Roma headed to the Stadio Luigi Ferraris under tremendous pressure. Though an out-of-sorts Genoa side looked like a seemingly routine task at first glance, it turned out to be quite the opposite. 

A managerial shift during the international window seems to have sparked Genoa’s spirits as they put on a fight for a large portion of the game. Roma had several decent chances to hit the front before half-time, with Eldor Shomurodov squandering the best opportunity of the first half in the 29th minute.

Genoa players dropped deep in the second half, trying to defend a goalless draw, but to no avail. When it looked like Shevchenko could snatch away a point right under Roma’s noses, Mourinho made a game-changing substitution, withdrawing Shomurodov in favor of Afena-Gyan with 16 minutes left to play.

The Ghanaian whizz-kid, who registered a couple of cameo Serie A appearances before tonight, stole the spotlight with a stunning late impact. The prodigious forward latched onto Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s through ball to break the deadlock in the 82nd minute, making his Serie A breakthrough. 

Roma were on the cusp of claiming a narrow win at Genoa when Afena-Gyan produced a moment to remember. The youngster picked up the ball far away from Salvatore Sirigu’s goal and didn’t think twice, unleashing a devastating long-range shot into the top far corner.

During the post-match interview, Afena-Gyan thanked Mourinho for handing him the opportunity to impact the game at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris and fulfill his dream.

Mourinho is a great person, a great manager, and a great coach. He gives you the motivation to learn every day. I am very happy he is here,” he said, as relayed by TUTTOmercatoWEB.

Tonight is a dream come true. It was my first goal, I was hoping for a very long time. I want to continue my performance, prove myself and do more in the future.

I thank God for this opportunity he gave me, the team, the coach, the fans, players for their amazing support. I also want to say thank you Mom, she is in Ghana, I love you.