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UEFA Europa League

  • March 14, 2013
  • • 21:05
  • • Stadio Olimpico, Roma
  • Referee: T. Hagen
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Lazio win Aggregate 5 - 1

Lazio 3-1 Stuttgart (agg 5-1): Kozak hat-trick sees Biancocelesti through

Lazio 3-1 Stuttgart (agg 5-1): Kozak hat-trick sees Biancocelesti through

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The Czech striker struck three times to make easy work of the Italians' route to the last eight of the Europa League

Lazio progressed to the quarter-finals of the Europa League on Thursday after they kept their nerve to record a 3-1 second-leg victory over Stuttgart.

Two goals from Libor Kozak put the tie out of sight within just eight first-half minutes at the Olimpico, and despite Tamas Hajnal's consolation effort midway through the second period, the Czech struck again late on to ensure a comprehensive aggregate triumph.

The opener came just six minutes into the action, as Stefan Radu burst down the left flank and fizzed in a cross which Kozak met at the back post with great aplomb to put the Biancocelesti on their way.

Kozak did not waste any time in grabbing his second of the evening as Lazio proceeded to cruelly hit Stuttgart on the break, which ended in the hitman coolly dispatching the finish past Sven Ulreich.

A string of snapshots ensued as the visitors looked for a way back into the tie, but to no avail, with Raphael Holzhauser and Hungarian midfielder Hajnal firing the best of die Roten's attempts wide of the target.

But on the hour mark, Stuttgart were presented a route back into the match when Hajnal took control of the ball on the edge of the box and slotted home to decrease his side's deficit.

Lazio, happy to take their foot off the gas and adopt a counterattacking game while Stuttgart desperately stepped up their efforts, did come close through Antonio Candreva on multiple occasions.

Bruno Labbadia's charges showed intent to salvage yet more pride with the minutes ticking away, and both Shinji Okazaki and Vedad Ibisevic could count themselves unlucky as Federico Marchetti stayed on his toes.

Unfortunately for the Germans, Kozak had not quite finished his work for the evening, as he completed his hat-trick with just three minutes of time remaining to send Lazio marching into the quarter-finals.

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