BOSTON (AP) — Michael Bradley and Alessandro Florenzi scored second-half goals, lifting Italy’s Roma to a 2-1 victory over Liverpool in an exhibition game at Fenway Park on Wednesday night.
Bradley sent a right-footed kick by keeper Brad Jones that caromed into the goal off the left post in the 63rd minute, drawing chants of “USA! USA!” from the crowd of 37,169. He’s the son of former U.S. coach Bob Bradley.
Florenzi scored off a rebound from directly in front in the 69th minute — two minutes after entering the game. Charlie Adam scored in the 80th minute for Liverpool.
“We did some good things,” Roma coach Zdenek Zeman said through a translator. “We were well-placed, but we still lack 90 minutes.”
Liverpool was without captain Steven Gerrard because rules require rest following international tournaments. Luis Saurez (Uruguay) is scheduled to play at the London Olympics and also isn’t on the North American tour for Liverpool.
The match was played in the home of the Boston Red Sox, owned by Fenway Sports Group — also the owner of Liverpool.
There was a sea of red in the recently turned 100-year old ballpark, but it wasn’t red for the Red Sox. For one night, Fenway was transformed into the home of Liverpool’s fans. The usual Red Sox jerseys worn by fans with the names and numbers on the backs reading: “Ortiz 34” and “Pedroia 15” were missing and a number of “Gerrard 8” and “Saurez 7” jerseys filled the park.
“It was incredible. I told them before, ‘You’ll be able to tell your grandkids you played football at Fenway Park,” Liverpool coach Brendan Rodgers said.
The match was dubbed “Football at Fenway 2012” and it had the flavor of one at Anfield. The media meal also was accordingly “fish and chips” — an English staple.
As fans entered the turnstiles at either end of Yawkey Way, a street along the third-base line, they could walk through gates with a sign above that read: “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” which is a reference to the club’s anthem.
About 2 1/2 hours before the start, there were hundreds of red jerseys in the bars and restaurants in the area. They lined up outside the gates about an hour before they opened and carried blankets, scarfs and a few were wearing red wool hats on a bright sunny afternoon with temperatures in the low 80s.
Hanging in the center of the infamous Green Monster was a red and white sign that read: “LFC Tour 2012.”
It was the second of a three-game tour for Liverpool, which will face English rival Tottenham on Saturday in Baltimore at the home of the NFL’s Ravens. Liverpool earned a 1-1 draw with Toronto FC on Saturday at the Rogers Centre.
“I was very pleased, a lot of young players gained experience,” Rodgers said. “Roma, tonight, had more experienced players.”
John Henry, the controlling partner of Fenway Sports Group, came out of the first-base — or home — dugout about an hour before the start, walked along the outside of the pitch and a few fans immediately recognized him and applauded. He stopped to shake hands as he walked along the right-field warning track toward the foul pole — nicknamed the “Pesky Pole.” He watched the match from his private box behind home plate.
In the first half, Liverpool’s best chance came when Jon Jo Shelvey’s left-footed kick from just inside the box was stopped by keeper Bogdan Lobont in the 41st minute.
Liverpool also had a good chance in the 33rd minute when midfielder Joe Cole lofted one that landed on the top of the net, just over the crossbar.
Roma’s Pablo Daniel Osvaldo had an excellent bid in the eighth minute, but goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi made a sliding right arm stop.
NOTES: Liverpool also played without Andy Carroll and Glen Johnson due to the rest rule. … Liverpool fans draped about 10 signs over the walls behind the right-field bullpens. … Gulacsi was looking into a bright sun for about the initial eight minutes, with the back of his goal near the edge of the right-field track. … Jones substituted for Gulacsi at the start of the second half.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.