Fenerbahçe dominates Lazio in 2-0 win
Fenerbahçe took a clear advantage ahead of the decisive return game on April 11 in Rome. DAILY NEWS photo, Emrah GÜLERFenerbahçe dominated its Europa League quarterfinal first leg tie against Italian rivals Lazio on April 4, winning 2-0 in front of its home fans at the Şükrü Saraçoğlu Stadium in Istanbul.
Fenerbahçe players were desperately unlucky to hit the woodwork on two occasions, but Cameroon international striker Pierre Webo eventually put Fener into the lead with an opening goal from the penalty spot in the 78th minute. Former Liverpool striker Dirk Kuyt doubled the score in the dying minutes of the game with a shot from inside Lazio’s area.
The Italians played nearly the entire second half with 10 men, after Nigerian midfielder Ogenyo Onazi was sent off in the 47th minute.
The host could have found the precious goal much earlier, as they came very close to opening the scoring in the 17th minute, when Gökhan Gönül forced Lazio defender Mickael Ciani into committing an error inside his own area. The ball rolled into the direction of Moussa Sow who found himself unmarked with only Lazio’s goalkeeper Federico Marchetti to beat, but Marchetti denied the potent man of the moment by touching the ball onto the post.
Fenerbahçe dominated possession throughout the match, but Lazio’s disciplined defending left few open spaces for the attacking duo of Sow-Webo.
The second half began with drama after the Romans went down to 10 men, and from that point on Fenerbahçe increased the pressure and started threatening. Two minutes after the sending off, Portuguese star Raul Meireles fired a missile just outside the area, beating the keeper but again hitting the post.
Fenerbahçe’s pressure finally bore fruit when defender Lazio Radu handled the ball inside his area. Webo converted the resultant penalty kick and sent the home crowd into raptures.
Marchetti was then forced to save a dangerous shot from Reto Ziegler in the 88th minute, and the game looked to be drawing to a close. However, in the 90th minute, Kuyt had other ideas, scoring what could ultimately prove to be a crucial goal.
Fenerbahçe will play the return game on April 11 in Rome.