STADIO OLIMPICO (ROME) – Lazio’s Europa League campaign came to a frustrating conclusion on Thursday as the Romans surrendered the lead again to draw 2-2 with Porto and crash out in the play-off round with a 4-3 aggregate defeat.
The Romans needed a win after losing the first leg 2-1 despite going in front early, and returning captain Ciro Immobile got them off to the perfect start when he beat Pepe for pace and calmly found the bottom corner after 19 minutes to draw the tie level.
The Italy striker was unlucky not to add to his tally as he had another two goals ruled out for offside, but Porto found a way back into the game when Mehdi Taremi struck from the penalty spot.
It was a disappointing conclusion to an otherwise impressive first half from Maurizio Sarri’s side, but the game could’ve gone either way in an eventful 45 minutes after the break.
Pepe and Luis Alberto put good chances wide and Thomas Strakosha pulled off three good saves to keep Lazio in it, but the Albanian couldn’t stop Mateus Uribe from firing home from close range in the 68th minute after a clever dinked pass from Taremi.
The Aquile piled forward in search of the two goals they needed to take the tie to extra-time but they were left frustrated as Alberto hit the side netting and the bar.
An Immobile shot in stoppage time hit the post and substitute Danilo Cataldi fired home the rebound, but it was too little too late for Lazio, whose entire focus will now be on Serie A for the rest of the season.