Lazio beat Cagliari 2-1

Indo Asian News Service

Rome, Jan 6 (IANS) Lazio beat struggling Cagliari 2-1 to move within five points of Serie A leaders Juventus.

Alvaro Candreva converted a late penalty to decide the outcome, with Cagliari having two men sent off after the spot-kick was awarded Saturday, reports Xinhua.

Goalkeeper Michael Agazzi got the marching orders first, receiving his second yellow card of the game for the foul on Miroslav Klose that resulted in the penalty, and midfielder Andrea Cossu was also ordered off for protesting excessively.

Lazio head coach Vladimir Petkovic believed his side's fightback to beat Cagliari was "a show of character".

"We didn't suffer that much other than a few opportunities. Even if we weren't that sharp tonight, we still created a great deal," he said.

"It was a show of character, managing to fight back and turn around the result. The players always believe they can do it."

Cagliari had gone ahead after 62 minutes when Marco Sau struck but Abdoulay Konko levelled 10 minutes from the end and in the 86th minute Candreva secured all three points for second-placed Lazio.

Cagliari director Francesco Marroccu insisted that they would not complain about the referee's penalty decision.

"Cagliari respect the referee's decision. We always have respect for the officials and do not want to cause controversy," he said.

Juventus still have a comfortable cushion and Sunday can restore their eight-point advantage when they tackle Sampdoria in Turin.

Earlier, Catania and Torino shared a tame 0-0 draw at the Stadio Massimino in the first Serie A game of 2013.