Ukrainian icon Andriy Shevchenko sat in Genoa's dugout for the very first time on Sunday, but it was 18-year-old Roma striker Felix Afena-Gyan who stole the show in Liguria.
The Ghanaian super-sub, sent onto the pitch with 16 minutes to play when the score was locked at 0-0, scored in the 82nd minute and then again in the fourth minute of added time to lift José Mourinho's men to fifth place in Serie A, a point above capital city rivals Lazio. This was only the third senior appearance of Afena-Gyan's entire career.
By scoring at the Luigi Ferraris, Afena-Gyan became the first-ever player born in 2003 to register a strike in Serie A. In wonderful contrast, newly-appointed Genoa boss Shevchenko was at the peak of his powers in 2003, winning the Champions League that year and then scooping the Ballon d'Or just a year later.
But this was Afena-Gyan's night. Mourinho opted for the teenager rather than the highly-rated attacking midfielder Nicolò Zaniolo, a young man who is fit again and part of the Italian national team setup once more, and the risk paid rich dividends.
And because of his goals, Afena-Gyan's legendary manager has had to cough up some cash for a pair of new shoes that the talented teenager has had his eye on for some time.
José Mourinho promised to buy wonderkid Felix Afena-Gyan [born in 2003!] new €800 shoes after match-winning brace for AS Roma in 10 minutes…— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) November 22, 2021
…and he did it. “He was dreaming of these shoes, so I thought: let’s do it”. 🎥⤵️ @ohenegyanfelix9 pic.twitter.com/uY5ewVaQEu
The goal which sealed the points for Roma was a screamer by anyone's standards, and it was made even more special by the fact that it was scored by a relatively-unknown teenage substitute from Ghana.
Ridiculous goal from 🇬🇭 Felix Afena Gyan (18) for AS Roma this evening.— Lorenz Köhler (@Lorenz_KO) November 21, 2021
His first two goals for Jose Mourinho’s side after coming on as a late sub.
The first player born in 2003 to score in Serie A. Rising star. 🌟
We have no way of telling whether this young man will come even remotely close to the achievements of a bona fide Serie A legend named Andriy Shevchenko, but on this night, he certainly had his measure.
Felix Afena-Gyan, remember the name.