Czech forward Libor Kozak grabbed both goals as Lazio beat Fiorentina 2-0 today to keep their Serie A title hopes alive. Kozak was offered a first league start of the season by coach Edy Reja as Mauro Zarate sat out the game amid growing transfer speculation surrounding the Argentine.
And the 21-year-old grasped his rare opportunity with both hands, scoring the game winner for the third time this season. He opened the scoring from the spot before heading home the second just four minutes later to put Lazio third in the table, above city rivals Roma who play on Sunday.
The first half was a timid affair with few chances for either side, although Lazio forward Sergio Floccari was denied by Fiorentina goalkeeper Artur Boruc, who also came to the visitors' rescue to deny Alvaro Gonzalez.
The hosts took the lead on 69 minutes after Danish defender Per Kroldrup fouled Kozak in the area, the Czech dusting himself down to rifle home the spot-kick. Four miutes later he got on the end of a Giuseppe Sculli cross after a quick Lazio counter-attack to head home the decisive second.
Kozak had also scored in the win in Florence earlier in the season but it was his winner moments after coming on as a substitute against Sampdoria two weeks ago that propelled him into Reja's thoughts.
Lazio now trail leaders AC Milan, who travel to Catania later tonight, by four pointsnd are goal difference behind Napoli.