Lazio: Carrizo; Diakitè (Rozzi), Cana, Ciani; Cavanda, Brocchi (Ledesma), Hernanes, Onazi (Mauri), Lulic; Floccari, Kozak.
Siena: Farelli; Contini, Neto, Paci, Belmonte; Valiani (Bolzoni), Vergassola, Del Grosso; D'Agostino; Bogdani (Larrondo), Reginaldo.
Lazio are through to the next round and Catania after beating Siena on penalties. The director and hero behind the win came to be a player that will most likely be gone by the time of the clash with the Sicilians: Juan Pablo Carrizo. The goalie himself stated he intends to see his contract out though, after getting all the post-match attention, since returning to River Plate is his priority and he would like to go there on a free transfer.
The entrance of Lazio in the Coppa Italia could not have been played at a worse time. At 15.00 on a Wednesday, the week before the Christmas Holidays and not yet a part of the vacations, even less of a crowd than we have come to get used to turned up. And the ones that did had to witness one of the least entertaining games of Lazio this season.
The visitors Siena have sacked coach Cosmi since the weekend ane employed Serie B specialist Iachini in an attempt to save the club from relegation. Being amongst the three worse teams in the league is not only because of a weak season though, had it not been for the points deduction the team would have been sitting at 13th. Today's game was in the Coppa though, a competition where the team was hoping to stay as long as possible.
Petkovic opted for a reserve line up, more or less. Diakite made3 a very anonymous first appearance of the season in a back three together with Ciani and Cana. Cavanda, Hernanes, Onazi, Lulic and Brocchi were all included in the midfield, behind the duo of Kozak – Floccari.
The first half was dull and boring and the only excitement came from the few, but loud, fans that had gathered in the Curva Nord. In all honesty, there is nothing to report from the first 45 minutes.
The first ten minutes of the second half was as free of action and chances. When Larrondo replaced Bogdani in Siena the game rhythm changed though, and Carrizo slowly turned into the hero of the day.
Before the Carrizo show though, Siena found themselves in an undeserved lead. Cana recorded an own goal after Ciani having tried to get the ball away and sloppily hit his partner. However, the Albanian has done little in the Lazio short that has been positive so far since his arrival last season and today the cooperation with Diakite and Ciani did not work very well, despite barely being tested.
Petkovic reacted by bringing in the big guns, with Mauri and Ledesma replacing Brocchi and Onazi. Hernanes, who again had a very quiet game, tested the Siena goal with a shot that never really threatened.
Larrondo's first attempt came at 61', but Carrizo and Ciani managed to control the situation in the end. Shortly after Larrondo tested Carrizo again, but the shot stopper could parry the attempt. In a last attempt to get a draw Rozzi entered the pitch for Diakite and Lazio did all they could to establish some pressure on Siena.
At 90' the fourth referee showed five additional minutes and a small hope could be sensed amongst the players on the pitch. In the injury time Ledesma got a good chance of equalizing on a free kick, but his weak attempt was shortly turned into a super chance for Larrondo to close the game. Carrizo again showed his skills and kept Lazio in the game with a good save.
As the five additional minute were close to being up everyone had counted in the loss and an early exit for the Biancocelesti in Coppa Italia. Everyone but Cavanda and Ciani. The former sent a cross and the Frenchman met the ball perfetly and got his first goal for the Roman side since his summer switch. The central defender has surely developed through the recent games and is now a fairly reliable option at the back. With Diakite back and looking to extend his contract, Biava and Dias both available too, the central department seems more set than in many years for Lazio.
During extra time the slow and boring game continued. Hernanes had Lazio's only decent chance of slotting home the game, while Carrizo again had to save his team from a debacle as he saved attempts from both Belmonte and Vergassola, with the latter being denied in a truly classy way by the Argentinean goalie.
The penalties that followed was also a continuance of the Carrizo show. Mauri and Belmonte both scored on their attempts, while Carrizo denied Vergassola also from the penalty spot. Floccari bagged it for Lazio, while it was again time for Carrizo to save a penalty, this time from Larrondo. Kozak was then given the chance to send Lazio through and despite taking a weak penalty and Feralli getting his hands on the ball it somehow went and Lazio were through to the next round.