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Fenerbahçe hold off Lazio to book semi date

S.S. Lazio 1-1 Fenerbahçe SK (agg: 1-3)
Caner Erkin's second-half strike earned a draw at the Stadio Olimpico and secured a first ever European semi-final for the Istanbul side.

Fenerbahçe hold off Lazio to book semi date
Fenerbahçe hold off Lazio to book semi date ©UEFA.com

Fenerbahçe SK reached their first ever European semi-final at the expense of a spirited S.S. Lazio side, who exited despite knocking on the door throughout the 1-1 draw at the Stadio Olimpico. 

Senad Lulić fuelled the home team's hopes of becoming only the third side to overturn a two-goal first-leg deficit in the UEFA Europa League knockout phase when he struck on the hour. However, Caner Erkin left the Serie A outfit with an impossible task, needing three in the final 17 minutes, when he grabbed an away goal – the Turkish team were home and dry.

Lazio were straight onto the attack with Hernanes curling in a free-kick which Volkan Demirel held on the line with Libor Kozák lurking ominously. Antonio Candreva's volley flashed over the crossbar as the hosts maintained steady pressure on the visitors, who were content to sit back and defend their 2-0 advantage.

That almost proved a dangerous tactic when a good spell of possession late in the half culminated in Ederson's angled shot being diverted behind by Volkan. The goalkeeper later spilled a shot from Hernanes, but gathered just in time as Kozák flew in.

The Czech forward went close to his ninth goal in the competition this season when he flashed a header over from Candreva's cross as Lazio camped even deeper in the Fenerbahçe half after the break. Another spill from Volkan, this time from Ştefan Radu's shot, went unpunished before Lulić left him no chance, bringing Lazio back into the tie with a determined header from Candreva's cross.

Going behind sparked Fenerbahçe into life and they soon all but confirmed their berth in the last four of a European competition for the first time after two previous quarter-final disappointments. Caner Erkin was afforded too much room by the Lazio defence and he was able to thread a shot inside Federico Marchetti's near post.