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Second-place Lazio beats Cagliari in controversial finish

Associated Press

1/5/2013 5:15:54 PM

ROME -- Second-place Lazio rallied to beat visiting Cagliari 2-1 in a controversial finish on Saturday as the Serie A resumed after its holiday break.

Marco Sau gave Cagliari the lead in the 62nd minute at Stadio Olimpico before French defender Abdoulay Konko equalized in the 79th for Lazio.

In the 83rd, Cagliari goalkeeper Michael Agazzi was shown his second yellow card for a foul on Miroslav Klose, and Lazio was awarded a dubious penalty that Antonio Candreva converted.

Agazzi made contact with Klose but was clearly aiming for the ball and hit the Germany striker only lightly after Klose got his shot off. The shot landed on top of the net.

Cagliari midfielder Andrea Cossu was also sent off for protesting, and the sixth consecutive loss by the visitors ended with nine men and without their coach, with Ivo Pulga having been expelled in the 32nd for protests.

Lazio moved within five points of Serie A leader Juventus, which hosts Sampdoria on Sunday.

"We're on the right track," Candreva said. "It wasn't easy tonight but it's never easy coming back from a break. We're a great group, though."

Also on Sunday, Inter Milan visits Udinese, Fiorentina faces Pescara and Roma is at Napoli.

Earlier, 10-man Catania played to a 0-0 draw with Torino.

Catania midfielder Francesco Lodi was sent off with a direct red card in the 13th minute after reacting violently to physical contact by taking a swipe at an opponent.

Catania was awarded a penalty in the 23rd but forward Gonzalo Bergessio hit the crossbar with his spot kick.

Catania coach Rolando Maran was also sent off, for protests in the 84th.

Still, Catania moved into a tie with Parma for eighth place, one point behind AC Milan, which faces Siena on Sunday.

Torino is 13th, five points clear of the relegation zone, with a one-point penalty for match-fixing.