Nigeria Midfielder Ogenyi Onazi took centre stage on Sunday as he scored a crucial goal to give Lazio the final Uefa Champions League ticket.
Prior to the game, Lazio was 3rd on the log, 3 points clear of Napoli. It was the final game of the season and a win-or-burst affair for Napoli who were playing on their homeground.
Lazio started the goal-show as Marco Parolo scored the first in the 33rd minute. Italian attacker Antonio Candreva doubled Lazio’s lead on the 45th minutes before Gonzalo Higuain pulled one back on 55 minutes. Napoli began pressing persistently and Marco Parolo was sent off on 62 minutes.
2 minutes later, Higuain punished Lazio, getting the equalizer. Napoli pressed so hard but all their efforts were pulled back as Faouzi Ghoulam was shown two yellow cards in the space of 5 minutes.
Both teams were now level with 10-men each as the pressure died down. Napoli were given the chance to take the lead on the 76th minute but Gonzalo Higuain failed to fire home from 12 yards.
It looked as if the game was destined for a draw until Nigeria’s little unsung hero Ogenyi Onazi rose up amongst giants to kill the game off with an 85th-minute 20 yards strike.
Napoli went on full attack in search of a late equalizer leaving their defense vulnerable to allow veteran forward Miroslav Klose to kill off the tie with Lazio’s fourth on 9m minutes. 2-4 it ended in favour of Lazio who will take part in next year’s Uefa Champions League if they win the playoff rounds in August.