Lazio strike late to peg back Juve

AP, TURIN, Italy

Thu, Jan 24, 2013 - Page 18

SS Lazio needed a late equalizer to draw 1-1 at Juventus in the first leg of their Coppa Italia semi-final on Tuesday and extended their unbeaten streak to 16 matches.

In a match between two of the top teams in Serie A, Federico Peluso put Juventus ahead with a header following a free-kick in the 63rd minute.

Juventus had chances to double their lead, including a shot off the post from Arturo Vidal in the 72nd minute, and they paid the price when Stefano Mauri equalized for Lazio in the 86th.

Mauri latched onto a corner-kick with a shot from the far post that Juve reserve goalkeeper Marco Storari should have stopped. Gianluigi Buffon, Juve’s first-choice goalkeeper, had been rested.

The return leg is next week, while AS Roma were due to host Inter in the other semi-final, first leg yesterday.

After a balanced first half that saw neither side in control, Juve gained the edge in the second and nearly went ahead with a volley from Alessandro Matri that was tipped over the bar by Lazio goalkeeper Federico Marchetti in the 55th minute.

Vidal also had a chance in the 80th.

“In the second half we really struggled, but Federico made a lot of saves and then we were able to equalize,” Mauri said. “I think at the end the draw was deserved.”

Lazio extended their unbeaten run in all competitions to 10 wins and six draws.