(EFE) – Lazio was on the brink of a debacle this Tuesday, but with its agonizing 2-2 draw against Bruges, who shot the crossbar in 93 despite playing with ten men throughout the restart, they managed to qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League twenty years later.
A left-footed shot by the “Diamante” of Bruges Charles De Ketelaere repelled by the crossbar in 93, when the Spanish goalkeeper Pepe Reina could no longer intervene, he was about to turn this last match of group F of the “Champions” into a nightmare for Lazio, who nevertheless managed to advance to the second round as second, behind Borussia Dortmund.
The goals of Argentine Joaquín Correa and Ciro Immobile were essential to avoid the setback and prolonged the European adventure of Simone Inzaghi’s team, which had not reached that far in the maximum continental competition since the 2000-2001 season.
In that case, it passed the first group stage before being eliminated in the second group stage (in those years the competition had a different format), in which it was paired with Real Madrid, Leeds and Anderlecht.
When Lazio went to half time ahead 2-1 and with Bruges with ten, everything seemed already sentenced in favor of the Italian team.
The “Tucu” Correa, who had already scored a momentous goal at the Jan Breydel stadium in Bruges in the first round, shot his scoring nose to overtake Lazio in the 12th, by picking up a central rebound from Belgian goalkeeper Simon Mignolet at a shot from the Spanish Luis Alberto.
Another bad rejection, this time from the Spanish goalkeeper of Lazio Pepe Reina, led to the draw of the Dutch Ruud Vormer for Bruges, but a naive lack of the Belgian Clinton Mata to Immobile caused the penalty that the Golden Boot transformed to return the advantage to Lazio . Brujas lost lucidity and, shortly after, a hard foul by Sobol was paid with the second warning from referee Cakir, which made their match very difficult.
And in fact Lazio had at least three clear opportunities to widen the gap, the clearest of which was for Immobile, who forgave her by shooting high from an optimal position.
But everything changed in 76, seconds after Inzaghi replaced Immobile, Luis Alberto and Lucas Leiva.
Vanaken, with a header to the center from Vormer, returned options to a Bruges who took all his pride in the final stretch and who came to the brink of glory in 93, when De Ketelaere picked up a loose ball in the penalty area and released a left foot that crashed into the crossbar.
Few centimeters that decreed the elimination of Bruges, who will play the Europa League, and the agonizing round pass of Lazio.