Two goals in the last 12 minutes have left Fenerbahçe SK poised for a first ever appearance in a European semi-final as the Turkish team eventually broke S.S. Lazio's resolve.
An even first half was forgotten three minutes after the restart when Ogenyi Onazi's second booking of the night changed the complexion of this UEFA Europa League tie. The hosts looked to force home the advantage, hitting the post for a second time before Pierre Webó's 78th-minute penalty edged them ahead. Dirk Kuyt's added-time effort could prove decisive.
The Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium was sold out but Lazio were undaunted and had the better of the opening period. It was Moussa Sow who came closest to breaking the deadlock, however, Federico Marchetti just about getting his fingertips to a first-time effort after Ştefan Radu's poor clearance was deflected into the forward's path. The ball came back off the upright.
A tight match was blow open when Onazi departed, Raul Meireles signalling the change in tempo within seconds as he bent a lovely shot onto the post. Lazio brought on Cristian Ledesma to add defensive resistance to their midfield, but Fenerbahçe coach Aykut Kocaman responded by introducing Caner Erkin and Salih Uçan – and gradually his charges took a firm grip on the game.
That ascendancy was finally reflected in the scoreline 12 minutes from time when Webó sent Marchetti the wrong way after Radu had been penalised for handball. The home fans rose in unison but they wanted more and Kuyt gave it to them at the death, firing into the roof of the net when Marchetti could only parry Caner Erkin's awkward free-kick.
That sealed Lazio's first defeat in 11 games in this year's competition, and they will need to rediscover their best in Rome next Thursday.
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