ST. PETERSBURG, Russia — A late equalizer from Felipe Caicedo gave understrength Lazio a 1-1 draw at Zenit St. Petersburg on Wednesday to stay unbeaten in Group F in the Champions League.
Caicedo redirected a cross from Francesco Acerbi eight minutes from time after Aleksandr Erokhin had given Zenit a first-half lead.
Lazio was without European Golden Shoe winner Ciro Immobile, goalkeeper Thomas Strakosha and midfielder Lucas Leiva. All three players failed to pass UEFA’s coronavirus screening despite being available for the Roman club in Serie A at the weekend.
“The team is alive, has a great spirit and we’ve shown it,” Lazio midfielder Marco Parolo said. “We missed key players, but we’re united as a group. We could have done better in the first half, but we were taking almost no risks. We knew they would start well, and that we could react.”
Playing in Europe's elite competition for the first time in 13 years, Lazio has five points from three games. Club Brugge and Borussia Dortmund played later Wednesday.
Erokhin scored with an acrobatic volley in the 32nd.
Lazio struggled for long stretches before Caicedo used one touch to sweep in Acerbi’s cross.
Caicedo also scored a late winner off the bench in Lazio’s wild 4-3 victory at Torino in Serie A on Sunday.
“It’s an important moment for me,” Caicedo said. “If we continue like this we can progress from this group. We reacted well tonight. We showed character.”
Up next for Lazio is a visit by nine-time Italian league champion Juventus on Sunday.
Lazio hosts Zenit in its next European match on Nov. 24.
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The Associated Press