Aiming for England squad, Abraham ends Serie A goal drought

ROME (AP) — Hoping to make England’s World Cup squad, Roma striker Tammy Abraham scored his first Serie A goal since September in a 1-1 draw at Sassuolo on Wednesday.

Abraham leaped amid three defenders to head in a cross from Gianluca Mancini in the 80th minute but Andrea Pinamonti equalized for Sassuolo with a swift counterattack five minutes later.

It was another disappointing result for Roma, which was beaten by Lazio in the Rome derby three days earlier.

Abraham, who scored 27 goals across all competitions last season in a breakout performance upon arriving at Roma after falling out of favor at Chelsea, had struggled to find the target this term. He scored one Serie A goal in August, one in September, and his only other score for Roma this season was in the Europa League on Oct. 27.

“Beyond the goal, he won duels, battled hard and played solidly,” Roma coach José Mourinho said. “He had a good match.”

Paulo Dybala, another Roma player hoping to go to the World Cup — with Argentina — is still out with a left thigh injury. There has been speculation that Dybala may return for Roma’s final match before the World Cup against Torino on Sunday.

But Mourinho wouldn’t say whether Dybala would play or not.

“I don’t know,” Mourinho said. “I know he’s in touch with the (Argentine federation) and (coach Lionel) Scaloni. We would love to have him against Torino but the players who are going to the World Cup will have their focus more there than here in the final round of games.”

Roma slipped to sixth, one point behind Atalanta, Inter Milan and Lazio.

SLUMPING ATALANTA

Atalanta was beaten 2-1 at Serie B champion Lecce for its second consecutive defeat after a strong start to the season.

Lecce, which hadn’t won at home all season, was facing an Atalanta squad that was unbeaten in away matches.

But Federico Baschirotto and Federico Di Francesco scored two minutes apart for Lecce midway through the first half before Duván Zapata pulled one back for Atalanta before the break with his first goal of the season following an injury layoff.

In its next match, Atalanta hosts Inter, which routed Bologna 6-1 to move into fourth spot. The Nerazzurri are above Atalanta — and below Lazio — on goal difference alone. Head to head is the first tiebreaker at the end of the season.

EARLY BIRTHDAY PRESENT

Federico Dimarco scored two goals on the day before his 25th birthday as Inter bounced back in style from its loss at Juventus.

Dimarco, who grew up supporting Inter and progressed through the ranks at the club, was given a standing ovation by the San Siro crowd when he was substituted off.

Bologna started the match better and Charalampos Lykogiannis gave it a deserved lead when Riccardo Orsolini’s effort deflected off him and into the back of the net.

However, Dzeko leveled four minutes later in stunning fashion. He started the move with a cheeky backheel and finished it off with a magnificent volley into the top left corner from the edge of the area.

Dimarco completed the turnaround with a free kick and Lautaro Martínez also scored before the break.

Dzeko headed off the crossbar from point-blank range in the 47th but Dimarco did extend Inter’s lead moments later with another impressive goal as he cut inside from the right, beat Bologna defender Joaquín Sosa and curled into the far corner.

Inter completed the thrashing with a penalty by Hakan Çalhanoğlu following a handball and a goal by Robin Gosens.

Also, Fiorentina edged Salernitana 2-1 and Torino beat Sampdoria 2-0.

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AP World Cup coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/world-cup and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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