Lazio vs. Fenerbahçe: Final score 1-1, Fener go through on aggregate

Paolo Bruno

A disciplined performance in Rome from Fenerbahçe has earned the Turkish side a place in the next round, as they progress 3-1 on aggregate.

The game was almost completely dominated by the Italians, though after they clawed their way back into the game with a second half goal from Senad Lulić they momentarily lost defensive concentration, allowing Fener to nick a goal against the run of play, securing their position in the next round.

It was a frustrating first half for Lazio, who were generally in control but very rarely tested Fener goalkeeper Volkan Demirel. They had shot after shot from outside the area, though they either went wide or right at the Turkish keeper. A looping Hernanes free-kick was almost carried over the line by the unconvincing Demirel, though he just about kept the ball out.

Antonio Candreva went close with a volley just short of half-an-hour in, though that -- like most of Lazio's chances -- flashed over the bar. It took until inside the final five minutes of the opening half before they had a really clear-cut chance, though after being threaded through by Hernanes, Ederson's shot from inside the box was parried away. Hernanes had an effort of his own from the edge of the box just before the break, though after his shot was spilled by Demirel, Kozák didn't get to the rebound fast enough.

Lazio came out after the break looking equally as dominant -- only this time they eventually had something to show for it. A couple of minutes after the restart, Libor Kozák powered a header from Candreva's cross narrowly over the bar, before, just after the hour, Senad Lulić thundered a header into the back of the net, with the excellent Candreva the provider again.

However, they wouldn't find another breakthrough. Going all-out-attack with three pure strikers on the field, Lazio neglected their defensive duties, and on an extremely rare counter-attack, Fener nicked the goal which would secure their qualification for the next round. Pierre Webó laid the ball off for Caner Erkin in the box, who proceeded to lash the ball into the top corner.

Lazio didn't entirely give up -- a Lulić cross was glanced just wide by substitute striker Sergio Floccari before Lorik Cana's great header was excellently tipped over by Demirel, though, as had been the case throughout the match, Fener's disciplined defending and their poor finishing cost them any chance of getting back into the match.

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