Lazio advances in CL for 1st time in 20 years with 2-2 draw

  • Lazio's Ciro Immobile celebrates after scoring his side's 2nd goal, during the Champions League, group F soccer match between Lazio and Club Brugge, at the Rome Olympic Stadium, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020. (Alfredo Falcone/LaPresse via AP)

    Lazio's Ciro Immobile celebrates after scoring his side's 2nd goal, during the Champions League, group F soccer match between Lazio and Club Brugge, at the Rome Olympic Stadium, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020. (Alfredo Falcone/LaPresse via AP) Associated Press

  • Lazio's Ciro Immobile, 2nd from left, celebrates with teammates after scoring his side's 2nd goal during the Champions League, group F soccer match between Lazio and Club Brugge, at the Rome Olympic Stadium, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020.

    Lazio's Ciro Immobile, 2nd from left, celebrates with teammates after scoring his side's 2nd goal during the Champions League, group F soccer match between Lazio and Club Brugge, at the Rome Olympic Stadium, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020. Associated Press

  • Lazio's Joaquin Correa celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal, during the Champions League, group F soccer match between Lazio and Club Brugge, at the Rome Olympic Stadium, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020. (Alfredo Falcone/LaPresse via AP)

    Lazio's Joaquin Correa celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal, during the Champions League, group F soccer match between Lazio and Club Brugge, at the Rome Olympic Stadium, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020. (Alfredo Falcone/LaPresse via AP) Associated Press

  • Brugge's goalkeeper Simon Mignolet fails to save the ball for Lazio's oaquin Correa to score, during the Champions League, group F soccer match between Lazio and Club Brugge, at the Rome Olympic Stadium, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020.

    Brugge's goalkeeper Simon Mignolet fails to save the ball for Lazio's oaquin Correa to score, during the Champions League, group F soccer match between Lazio and Club Brugge, at the Rome Olympic Stadium, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020. Associated Press

  • Lazio's Ciro Immobile scores his side's 2nd goal from the penalty spot, during the Champions League, group F soccer match between Lazio and Club Brugge, at the Rome Olympic Stadium, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020.

    Lazio's Ciro Immobile scores his side's 2nd goal from the penalty spot, during the Champions League, group F soccer match between Lazio and Club Brugge, at the Rome Olympic Stadium, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020. Associated Press

  • Brugge's manager Philippe Clement stands under a pouring rain during the Champions League, group F soccer match between Lazio and Club Brugge, at the Rome Olympic Stadium, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020. (Alfredo Falcone/LaPresse via AP)

    Brugge's manager Philippe Clement stands under a pouring rain during the Champions League, group F soccer match between Lazio and Club Brugge, at the Rome Olympic Stadium, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020. (Alfredo Falcone/LaPresse via AP) Associated Press

  • Brugge's Hans Vanaken, center, celebrates with Eder Balanta after scoring his side's 2nd goal during the Champions League, group F soccer match between Lazio and Club Brugge, at the Rome Olympic Stadium, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020.

    Brugge's Hans Vanaken, center, celebrates with Eder Balanta after scoring his side's 2nd goal during the Champions League, group F soccer match between Lazio and Club Brugge, at the Rome Olympic Stadium, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020. Associated Press

  • Brugge's Hans Vanaken, 2nd from right, scores his side's 2nd goal during the Champions League, group F soccer match between Lazio and Club Brugge, at the Rome Olympic Stadium, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020.

    Brugge's Hans Vanaken, 2nd from right, scores his side's 2nd goal during the Champions League, group F soccer match between Lazio and Club Brugge, at the Rome Olympic Stadium, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020. Associated Press

  • Brugge's Ruud Vormer celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal during the Champions League, group F soccer match between Lazio and Club Brugge, at the Rome Olympic Stadium, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020.

    Brugge's Ruud Vormer celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal during the Champions League, group F soccer match between Lazio and Club Brugge, at the Rome Olympic Stadium, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020. Associated Press

  • Brugge's Ruud Vormer celebrates with teammates after scoring his side's opening goal during the Champions League, group F soccer match between Lazio and Club Brugge, at the Rome Olympic Stadium, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020.

    Brugge's Ruud Vormer celebrates with teammates after scoring his side's opening goal during the Champions League, group F soccer match between Lazio and Club Brugge, at the Rome Olympic Stadium, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020. Associated Press

  • Brugge's Eder Balanta, left, and Lazio's Lucas Leiva fight for the ball during the Champions League, group F soccer match between Lazio and Club Brugge, at the Rome Olympic Stadium, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020.

    Brugge's Eder Balanta, left, and Lazio's Lucas Leiva fight for the ball during the Champions League, group F soccer match between Lazio and Club Brugge, at the Rome Olympic Stadium, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 12/8/2020 3:04 PM

ROME -- Lazio advanced to the knockout stage of the Champions League for the first time in 20 years after drawing 2-2 at home to 10-man Club Brugge on Tuesday.

Brugge midfielder Ruud Vormer canceled out Joaquín Correa's early opener but Ciro Immobile won and converted a penalty to restore Lazio's lead before visiting defender Eduard Sobol was sent off at the end of the first half.

 

However, Hans Vanaken headed in the equalizer 14 minutes from time to set up a tense finale.

Charles De Ketelaere hit the crossbar for Brugge in stoppage time but the Belgian side had to settle for third and a place in the Europa League.

Lazio finished second in Group F, two points above Brugge and three below already-qualified Borussia Dortmund, which won 2-1 at Zenit St. Petersburg.

Lazio knew that it just needed to avoid defeat against Brugge to qualify for the next round for the first time since 2000-01.

But the Italian side attacked from the start and took the lead in the 12th minute when Simon Mignolet could only parry Luis Alberto's shot and Correa tucked home the rebound.

Brugge leveled three minutes later with an almost identical goal as Pepe Reina spilled Noa Lang's snapshot and Vormer rushed in to follow up.

Lazio restored its lead in the 27th after Clinton Mata clumsily tackled Immobile. The European Golden Shoe winner dusted himself down to stroke the resulting penalty into the bottom right corner for his 10th goal in his past nine matches.

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Brugge's chances diminished six minutes from halftime as Sobol was sent off following a second yellow card. Sobol had been fortunate to avoid a second booking five minutes earlier and it appeared as if Brugge coach Philippe Clement was about to take him off before he saw red.

Lazio surged forward after the break, trying to kill off the match as the rain poured down in Rome.

Immobile should have done so but he uncharacteristically fired over the bar.

Instead it was the undermanned Brugge which scored as Vormer turned provider with a precise cross from the right which Vanaken powerfully headed in.

___

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