Ronaldo fires Madrid to CL win

by

February 18, 2016
Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo (right) is challenged by Roma's Miralem Pjanic during a Champions League, round of 16, first-leg match at the Rome Olympic stadium, yesterday. Real Madrid won 2 - 0.

ROME (AP):

Cristiano Ronaldo ended his away scoring drought with an impressive second-half goal as Real Madrid won 2-0 at Roma yesterday in the first leg of the Round of 16 in the Champions League.

The victory also marked a successful debut for Zinedine Zidane as Madrid's manager in the elite competition, with the 10-time champions taking a big step toward the quarter-finals.

It was Ronaldo's first goal on the road since Nov. 29, when he scored a penalty against Eibar.

"Everyone expects (Ronaldo) to score and today he was able to," Zidane said. "I'm happy for these two away goals and that we didn't concede any goals."

Shortly before the hour mark, Ronaldo collected a pass up the left flank from Marcelo, rapidly cut inside - moving the ball with a deft flick of his legs - and launched a powerful shot that deflected off Roma fullback Alessandro Florenzi.

several opportunities

After scoring, Ronaldo ran toward Zidane and hugged the French great, who replaced Rafa Benitez last month.

Substitute Jese then sealed the victory with an angled shot four minutes from the end after Roma failed to take advantage of several opportunities for an equalizer.

At the final whistle, Zidane congratulated each of his players one by one, including those who didn't play.

The return leg is on March 8 in Madrid.The night's other first-leg match saw Wolfsburg beat AA Ghent 3-2 in Belgium.

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