FC Salzburg earned their fifth consecutive Group G win and progressed to the knockout stages as section winners with another memorable 2-1 success over S.S. Lazio.
Although Pasquale Foggia cancelled out Rabiou Afolabi's 52nd-minute opener, the Austrian champions continued to press throughout a lively second half and Somen Tchoyi brought a buoyant crowd to their feet with a wonderful individual strike. It proved the winner and took his side though to the round of 32 in style, condemning Lazio to elimination.
Lazio had begun positively, firing in two warning shots within the opening six minutes. Eliseu forced a save at full stretch from Eddie Gustafsson before Stefano Mauri's 25-metre drive narrowly cleared the crossbar. The hosts eventually weathered the early storm before Marc Janko twice narrowly missed the target with close-range headers.
Needing just a point to qualify, Salzburg enjoyed a good deal of possession, frustrating Davide Ballardini's side, who were outfought and out-thought in the first period. Huub Stevens' side then took the lead five minutes after the break, as Afolabi rose to glance Christoph Leitgeb's free-kick into the far corner.
Lazio sprang to life, Mauro Zárate weaving his way into the area and forcing a parry from Fernando Muslera which Foggia bundled over the line. The Biancocelesti almost doubled their tally on 70 minutes when Tommaso Rocchi pounced on a mistake by Afolabi and forced a save from Gustafsson. But Salzburg refused to settle for the point and their winner came moments after Leitgeb had hit the post.
In their next attack the excellent Tchoyi cut in from the right, beat his marker twice before clipping nonchalantly over Muslera. It left Salzburg sitting pretty in first place with 15 points, with Villarreal second with nine and Lazio condemned on six regardless of the result of their final match due to their head-to-head record against the Spanish outfit.
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