NEWS
Thursday August 30 2012
EL: Lazio demolish Mura

Lazio swept comfortably into the Europa League after a Libor Kozak brace crushed FK Mura 3-1, sealing the tie 5-1 on aggregate.

Vladimir Petkovic could afford to rest some players after a 2-0 first leg lead earned in Slovenia, so youngsters Ogyeni Eddy Onazi and Luis Pedro Cavanda had the chance to shine, while Mauro Zarate partnered Libor Kozak in attack.

Despite the first leg result, Mura took a very defensive approach to this game and often had nine men behind the defence.

After 10 minutes Senad Lulic cut in from the left flank, but Zarate’s first touch let him down on the edge of the box.

Arpad Vas had timid penalty appeals for a tumble in the box, while Ales Majer charged down another Zarate effort. Goalkeeper Filip Drakovic flew to palm a curling Zarate right-foot free kick out from under the bar, then smothered the Andre Dias header from the resulting corner.

Moments later Lulic burst forward and set up Hernanes, who fired straight at a Mura player.

The pressure paid off and Lazio broke the deadlock on the half-hour mark when Kozak trapped a poor clearance with his right foot and smashed a left-foot screamer under the bar with his left on the half-volley.

Their tails were up and Kozak set up Zarate for another dangerous opportunity, however Mura also had a great chance to equalise. Giuseppe Biava’s clearance was too soft and allowed Nusmir Fajic a free shot on goal from the edge of the box, forcing Albano Bizzarri to fingertip it out from under the crossbar.

Zarate doubled Lazio’s lead just before the break. Alvaro Gonzalez pushed down the right and set up the Argentine for a precise right-foot finish on the bounce from 12 yards.

After the restart Gonzalez again got down his flank and crossed for Zarate, who failed to find the net from just outside the box.

Kozak made it 3-0 and completed his personal brace by pouncing on an Erik Janza defensive error, waltzing towards the goal undisturbed to beat the helpless Drakovic.

Kozak nodded a Zarate free kick just over the bar, then the Czech and substitute Antonio Rozzi couldn’t get the final touch from a Hernanes assist.

Bizzarri rushed off his line to clear from Fajic, while Drakovic fingertipped a Hernanes screamer round the upright. The goalkeeper also used an outstretched foot to deny Kozak his hat-trick and parried his header.

In the final minutes Lionel Scaloni’s cross was controlled by Antonio Candreva, but Drakovic managed to stop the midfielder going round him.

Mura did get a consolation goal at the 88th minute with Travner, who came sliding in from a free kick when the Lazio defence and Bizzarri were somewhat distracted.

Lazio 3-1 Mura (5-1 on agg)

Scorers: Kozak 30, 55 (L), Zarate 42 (L), Travner 88 (M)

Lazio: Bizzarri; Scaloni, Biava, Dias, Cavanda; Hernanes (Konko 79), Onazi, Gonzalez (Rozzi 62),Lulic (Candreva 69); Zarate, Kozak

Mura: Drakovic; Travner, Marusko, Kramar, Horvat (Kouter 84); Majer, Eterovic, Vas (Kozar 88),Janza; Bohar (Buzeti 46), Fajic

Ref: Trattou (CYP)

Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £5,000 monthly.

FOOTBALL ITALIA RELATED NEWS

TODAY'S FRONT PAGES