Ragged Lazio qualify for semi-finals
ROME, Jan 21 (Reuters) - Lazio scraped through to the last four of the Italian Cup on Tuesday after a ragged 0-0 draw in the second leg of their tie against Serie B side Bari allowed them to qualify 2-1 on aggregate.
Bari were marginally the better side in an edgy first half that offered few chances to score.
In the 34th minute Bari midfielder Jaime Valdes tried to clip the ball over keeper Luca Marchegiani from close range, but the ex-Italian international was alert and quickly smothered the shot.
At the other end, Lazio's Enrico Chiesa shot narrowly over the bar after the ball was laid off on the edge of the area by fellow striker Bernardo Corradi.
In the second half Lazio coach Roberto Mancini brought on midfielder Stefano Fiore and leading scorer Claudio Lopez in an attempt to breathe life into his listless attack.
Instead, they were rocked back into their own half as the home side took charge of the match for the final 20 minutes, knowing that a goal would be enough to qualify for the semi-finals, thanks to their goal in Rome a week ago.
They nearly snatched a win. In the 76th minute Bari midfielder Lionel Pizzinet lashed a dangerous low ball towards the visitors' goal, but Lazio defender Giuseppe Pancaro threw his body in the way.
Lazio hung on and will face the winner of Wednesday's tie between AS Roma and Vicenza in the last four.
'We certainly didn't play a great match,' Mancini told reporters after the match. 'We had two or three chances, but wasted them. We'll have to change things round a bit if we're going to go further in the competition.'
When asked about the prospect of facing city rivals Roma in the semi-final, Mancini answered: 'To play Roma in the last four would be great. Any derby is a big occasion.'