Lazio had dozens of chances in Cyprus, but could not get more than a disappointing 0-0 draw with Apollon Limassol.
Trabzonspor now go top of Group J after their win over Legia Warsaw, having seven points to Lazio’s five and Apollon on four.
The Aquile were without Miroslav Klose, Antonio Candreva, Senad Lulic, Abdoulay Konko, Giuseppe Biava and Stefano Mauri for this trip to Cyprus. Vladimir Petkovic put his faith in Sergio Floccari with support from Ederson and Balde Keita. The hosts were without Bertrand Robert.
Hernanes had an early shot charged down and Floccari’s angled drive flashed wide, but Fotis Papoulis hit the side-netting after a Luis Cavanda defensive error.
Keita blasted over from distance, but Hernanes went very close on 26 minutes when his strike was deflected inches wide of the upright.
Lazio poured on the pressure and on one of a series of corners Ederson’s diving header was over from point-blank range, as he found himself slightly ahead of the ball.
Goalkeeper Bruno Vale completely misjudged a cross, but there was nobody there to tap into an empty net, then as the move continued Hernanes again scraped a coat of paint off the upright.
Keita went on a rapid counter-attack and set up Floccari, who was closed down for a corner by Bruno Vale’s legs at the near stick.
The domination continued after the break, as Alvaro Gonzalez flashed a snapshot across the face of goal after great build-up from Ederson and Floccari. Still it was goalless and Papoulis almost gave Apollon the lead when he pounced on a poor Cavanda clearance to curl just over the bar.
Ederson went on a solo run through the middle and it took goalkeeper Bruno Vale two attempts to get the finish under control.
Diego Novaretti needed a decisive sliding tackle from seven yards to stop Roberto scoring when clear on goal. Cristian Ledesma rolled across for Hernanes, who couldn’t keep his shot on target, but Cavanda made another mistake to allow Meriem through and the shot was just wide.
Eddy Onazi fired straight at the goalkeeper in the final minute. The Italians had 27 attempts, four of them on target, whereas Apollon managed one on target from seven.
Apollon 0-0 Lazio
Apollon Limassol: Bruno Vale; Stylianou, Merkis, Karipidis, Vasiliou; Hamdani, Gullon; Sangoy, Meriem (Grigorie 94), Papoulis (Haber 91), Sangoy (Konstantinou 88); Roberto
Lazio: Marchetti; Cavanda, Cana, Novaretti, Radu; Gonzalez (Onazi 87), Ledesma, Hernanes; Ederson, Floccari (Perea 70), Keita Balde (Felipe Anderson 81)
Ref: De Sousa (POR)
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