Lazio draw at Juve in Cup semifinal
Lazio captain Stefano Mauri levelled a Federico Peluso opener Tuesday as the Rome guests drew 1-1 at Juventus in the first leg of the Italian Cup semifinals.
Juve pressed hard early in the game despite the many absent players, but only saw Claudio Marchisio's early break blocked in the box before custodian Federico Marchetti deflected Emanuele Giaccherini's shot on 45 minutes.
Lazio missed their top striker Miroslav Klose, but gradually gained confidence at the Juventus Stadium and had a chance on a fumbled save by Marco Storari, who was in trouble again on 35 minutes as Andrea Barzagli cleared before Mauri's surefire flick.
With Fabio Quagliarella suspended and Sebastian Giovinco injured upfront, and play maker Andrea Pirlo also sidelined, Juve by halftime had to replace the limping Leonardo Bonucci in a defence that already missed Giorgio Chiellini.
The hosts' single striker Alessandro Matri had his first chance on 54 minutes, but saw Marchetti deflect his volley before misfiring two more chances.
The Bianconeri remained in control and had reserve Peluso on target on 63 minutes, when the defender jumped higher than Senad Lulic to nod a Giaccherini cross into the lower right corner.
Marchetti 10 minutes later saw a drive from Arturo Vidal bounce off the right post and deflected the Chilean's header on 80 minutes with a dive on the goal line.
Lazio were more effective on one of their rare second-half opportunities and levelled with four minutes left with a corner-kick flick from captain Mauri.
"The result is positive, because we managed to scored here," Mauri said. "In the second half we suffered a lot and Federico (Marchetti) had to make many saves, but we managed to level and we are happy.
"They are a great team. At home they are very strong and it is not easy to play against them."
The return match is to be played in Rome on January 29. Roma and Inter Milan face off Wednesday for their first leg and will play the second on April 17.