The three months of rust on Cristiano Rolando was plain for all the world to see on Friday when the Juventus superstar missed a penalty against AC Milan in the second leg of the Italian Super Cup semifinal.
In the first half of Italian soccer’s first match since March — when the coronavirus pandemic shut down most sports across the globe — Ronaldo squandered a golden chance to give Juve a lead in the home-and-home series.
The sides came into the decisive contest tied 1-1 on aggregate, although the Portuguese icon’s successful stoppage time penalty strike in that match — which was played all the way back on Feb. 13 — meant Juve entered Friday’s contest with a potentially tie-breaking away goal. But while he was once again able to beat Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma from the spot, Ronaldo’s shot ricocheted off the post to keep the contest scoreless:
The ball stayed in play, and seconds after the miss the hosts caught another break when forward Ante Rebic was shown a red card for his karate kick of a challenge on Juve captain Alessio Romagnoli.
The winner of Friday’s match will meet either Napoli or Inter Milan — who face off in the second leg of their semifinal series on Saturday — in the June 17 final. The Serie A season resumes three days later, with league-leading Juventus looking to clinch its ninth consecutive domestic title.