Baptista’s brace helps Roma to beat Sampdoria

January 15th, 2009 - 7:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Rome, Jan 15 (DPA) Brazil striker Julio Baptista scored a brace as Roma beat Sampdoria 2-0 in a Serie A football game.Baptista’s goals late Wednesday brought his season tally to six and helped Roma continue their recovery from a horrible start to the league, pushing the Rome side on 27 points from 18 games. The match was held in October but was called-off after six minutes due to a rainstorm.

Roma did better in the Champions League, qualifying for the knock-out stage, but, at home, lie 16 points behind leaders Inter Milan and six from the fourth place that grants a berth in the next continental tournament.

Samp started off well at Rome’s Stadio Olimpico with Antonio Cassano and Swiss Reto Ziegler trying two drives that caused little trouble to Brazilian goalkeeper Artur, who filled in for his injured compatriot Alexander Doni.

The hosts bore no threats early in the game, but their single striker was deadly on 21 minutes, when he displayed his shooting skills curling a free kick above the wall to stun Luca Castellazzi.

The in-form Baptista one minute later had a drive saved from an angled position and on 32 minutes watched Castellazzi prodigiously save his dangerous shot fired after a blunder from two Samp defenders.

After a harmless free kick from Bapista, a first telling chance on 41 minutes went begging for Samp as Gennaro Del Vecchio missed a deflection off a Ziegler drive, while Paolo Sammarco fired wide after controlling a Cassano assist.

Rodrigo Taddei came close to scoring Roma’s second goal off a Baptista feed, but Castellazzi saved his volley just before the break.

The win over the lacklustre Genoa guests became virtually certain for Roma on 53 minutes as Baptista stormed on the left flank and broke into the area to beat again Castellazzi with a low drive by the far post.

Roma were convincing despite the absence of Montenegro striker Mirko Vucinic and of their injured captain Francesco Totti, who is likely to remained sidelined until the end of January.

Samp lie low in the standings on 20 points, just five notches above the three-team relegation zone.

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