Crying keeper Sergio forced to play on

MILAN - AS Roma's tearful goalkeeper Julio Sergio was forced to play on despite a serious injury in Wednesday' 2-1 Serie A loss at Brescia, where the visitors were so appalled by the officials they plan a formal complaint.

Up-for-sale Roma, last season's runners-up, have yet to win this term and felt luck was truly against them in the northern city when the Brazilian went down clutching his ankle after a late challenge he was booked for.

After five minutes of treatment the goalkeeper gingerly got to his feet and was told to play on during the lengthy injury time because Claudio Ranieri had used all his substitutes.

The agony was so much that the Brazilian was in tears but reports say he has not broken his ankle but tweaked ligaments.

It was the end to another frustrating night for Roma, who thought they were denied at least two clear penalties and believed Philippe Mexes won the ball outside the box when a spotkick was awarded to the hosts.

"It's not anger, it's something more. We will forcefully ask that the officials are suspended, in 21 years of football I've never seen five episodes like that," Roma sporting director Daniel Prade said in a hastily published statement.

Ranieri worked wonders steering cash-strapped Roma to the brink of almost snatching the scudetto off Inter last season but media speculation is already linking former Italy coach Marcello Lippi with his job.

Prade denied any moves were underway to replace the Roman.

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