Joaquin Correa’s well-taken finish keeps Lazio alive in the Europa League this season as they lead CFR Cluj 1-0 at half-time.
Thomas Strakosha, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Ciro Immobile were all left at home, so Bobby Adekanye – a summer signing from Liverpool – was given his full debut in Lazio’s attack.
Cluj only needed a draw to reach the last 32, compared to the Aquile’s quest for six points from their final two group games, and it showed as they sought to sit back.
However, Simone Inzaghi’s side managed to find an opening through the middle and Correa was able to poke a finish across Giedrius Arlauskis for the lead.
That forced the Romanian champions to come out of their shell, and they almost equalised through Damian Djokovic, whose shot from distance crashed against the woodwork.
Correa, on the other hand, went even closer for 2-0 but prodded a one-on-one wide when it seemed easier to hit the target.
HT: Lazio 1-0 CFR Cluj
Lazio: Proto; Bastos, Vavro, Acerbi; Lazzari, Parolo, Cataldi, Luis Alberto, Jony; Adekanye, Correa
CFR Cluj: Arlauskis; Cestor, Boli, Burca, Camora; Bordeianu, Djokovic, Culio; Peteleu, Omrani, Paun
Referee: Palabiyik (TUR)
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