Roma took command of their Europa League quarter-final tie with Ajax after scoring two second-half goals at the Amsterdam Arena on Thursday.
Ajax had the better of the chances on the night, and opened the scoring through midfielder Davy Klaasen on 37 minutes.
They could have made it 2-0 early in the second half, but Dusan Tadic’s penalty was saved by Pau Lopez.
The Dutch giants were made to rue that miss four minutes later. Roma’s Lorenzo Pellegrini levelled proceedings through a free kick that was fumbled by Ajax keeper Kjell Scherpen.
And late on, after several near misses for the hosts, Roma dealt the ultimate blow. Central defender Roger Ibanez produced a stunning volley that arrowed into the top corner.
At 2-1 up in a European away tie, the Italian side understandably wanted to manage the game as much as possible.
They were taking plenty of time over each throw-in or set play. One Ajax ball boy, however, was eager to speed things up.
When Roma defender Riccardo Calafiori jogged over slowly to take a throw-in, the ball boy picked the ball up and threw it at him, catching him a blow on the side of the neck. It’s fair to say that neither party seemed best pleased during that exchange.
? Don’t waste time in front of the @AFCAjax ball boys!— SPORF (@Sporf) April 8, 2021
Calafiori offers understanding response
The 18-year-old said after the game that he understood why the ball boy threw the ball at him, and acknowledged that time wasting would have annoyed him as well had he been on the opposite side.
He said: “Probably seeing an opponent wasting time would’ve irritated me as well.
“I don’t say I respect him, but it’s something that can happen.”
Roma did see the game through and won 2-1. However, Calafiori will carry a yellow card into the second leg after he was booked for his part in the incident.
The second leg takes place on April 15 at Stadio Olimpico in Rome.
Featured Image Credit: BT Sport