Serie A - Kozak puts Lazio second
Two second-half goals by youngster Libor Kozak put Lazio second in Serie A for the night with a 2-0 win over Fiorentina in a lacklustre encounter at Rome’s Stadio Olimpico.
The powerful Czech striker, 21, was given his full Lazio debut in place of the suspended Mauro Zarate and he did not disappoint, winning and scoring a 69th-minute penalty before adding a second with a header four minutes later.
It was otherwise a poor match, with neither side particularly adventurous and the visitors showing a lack of confidence that justifies their mid-table position.
The first chance of the match fell to the hosts, with Sergio Floccari - who later went off injured - testing Artur Boruc with a rising drive on five minutes.
Fiorentina were weak, even by this season's standards: striker Alberto Gilardino barely touched the ball while midfielders Riccardo Montolivo and Adem Ljajic were uninspiring, as was the latter’s replacement Gateano D’Agostino.
But they had a rare opportunity kept out when Alessio Cerci was denied a long-range strike by Fernando Muslera’s superb save, although it was business as usual soon after when Alvaro Gonzalez drew an uncomfortable stop from Boruc with a swerving shot.
The second half started inelegantly, with both sides scrappy and La Viola crushingly negative in their set up.
After much toiling Lazio were handed the chance to take the lead when Per Kroldrup tripped Kozak just inside the area and the Czech U21 international made no mistake with a low effort from the spot.
And it was game over four minutes later when, after a quick-fire counter attack, Giuseppe Sculli’s left-wing cross evaded a flapping Boruc and the 6'4" Kozak used his height to nod the ball in at the far post.
Lazio move on to 40 points, although they will slip back to fourth if both Roma and Napoli win on Sunday.