Daniele Padelli and Yuto Nagatomo proved the penalty shoot-out heroes as Inter narrowly avoided a shock Coppa Italia last-16 loss to third-tier Pordenone following a 0-0 draw.
Wholesale changes from Luciano Spalletti backfired at San Siro – Serie C minnows Pordenone well worthy of taking the game to extra time after a laboured Inter squandered a glut of chances.
Indeed, it could have been better for the visitors had stand-in goalkeeper Padelli not managed to turn Simone Magnaghi's rasping first-half strike onto the woodwork.
Substitutes Marcelo Brozovic and Ivan Perisic injected intensity into Inter's play, though both spurned golden opportunities to beat the superb Simone Perilli.
Mauro Icardi was introduced as Spalletti's final roll of the dice, but even Inter's free-scoring captain could not correct their profligacy in front of goal as Pordenone held firm to reach spot-kicks.
However, the fairy tale ended there as – despite the best attempts of Perilli – Nagatomo stepped up to convert the winning penalty after Padelli had denied Giulio Parodi in sudden death.
3 - Inter Milan have gone to extra time in three of their last four Coppa Italia games. Surprised. #InterPordenone— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) December 12, 2017
Pordenone had to ride their luck at times and, having already kept out Eder Martin's stinging drive, Perilli came to his side's rescue again with just over 20 minutes played, rushing out to thwart Yann Karamoh.
Inter's failure to convert their early dominance into a goal almost proved costly on the half-hour mark as, moments after Giovanni Formiconi just failed to round off a well-worked set-piece routine, Padelli tipped Magnaghi's thunderous strike onto the upright.
While Luca Lulli also went close for Pordenone, Inter should have been ahead on the stroke of half-time, but Karamoh could only lash over when one-on-one with Perilli.
Spalletti had seen enough, Andrea Pinamonti making way for first-team mainstay Brozovic at the restart – and the playmaker should have done better when teed up by Karamoh.
Pordenone were quick to remind Inter of their threat as Miguel Maza went close with a strike that deflected agonisingly wide off Roberto Gagliardini.
Perisic was Spalletti's next change but he, like Brozovic, passed up an immediate chance to put Inter ahead when he nudged wide from Joao Cancelo's cross.
Inter finally looked set to take the lead in the 86th minute, but Icardi – Spalletti's final substitute – could not head home to avoid the additional 30 minutes.
Icardi got through again in the early stages of extra time, only to shoot wide under pressure from Perilli.
Pordenone's goalkeeper was finally beaten in the 104th minute, but Icardi's header, which looked destined for the bottom-left corner, crashed off the post.
Perisic wasted the chance to atone for his earlier miss when he got through just after the restart, thumping a venomous effort into the side-netting as Pordenone survived to take it to penalties.
But Pordenone's dreams came to an end in a dramatic shoot-out as, in spite of two excellent saves from Perilli, it was his counterpart Padelli who did the damage.
Inter's goalkeeper brilliantly kept out Parodi's attempt and defender Nagatomo maintained his cool to send Spalletti's side into the last eight, with the relief evident.
23 de octubre 2018
|Bartomeu: Barca still competitive without Messi|
|Bills RB McCoy remains in concussion protocol|
|Raiders place Marshawn Lynch on IR|
|Emery calm over title talk after another Arsenal win|
|Green: Warriors have to clean up defensively|
|Mariners say Bolt talks ongoing amid reports contract offer was rejected|
|Proud captain Ozil revels in Arsenal´s ´sexy football´|
22 de octubre 2018
|Puel angry over Holding handball|
|Cilic breezes through in Basel, Anderson fights back|
|Ingram: Four-game ban better than we expected|
|Raiders send Cooper to Cowboys for first-round pick|
|Arsenal 3 Leicester City 1: Outstanding Ozil inspires comeback win|
|World Series 2018: Three reasons why the Dodgers will win|
|Yarmolenko out for six months after Achilles surgery|
|World Series 2018: Three reasons why the Red Sox will win|
|Ozil eclipses Klinsmann to become Premier League´s most prolific German|
|Allegri expecting Old Trafford battle against Mourinho´s United|
|Bertens feared she did not belong in Kerber clash|
|Returning Ronaldo expecting ´tough´ game against Manchester United|
|Cristiano Ronaldo confident of clearing his name amid rape allegation|
|Osaka looking to learn from losing start in Singapore|
|Kovac expects tough test against AEK Athens|
|Whyte gives Chisora deadline over rematch|
|Spartak Moscow sack Massimo Carrera|
|Atletico Madrid confirm fresh injury issue for Gimenez|
|Dolberg extends Ajax contract after Real Madrid links|
|Ronaldo an example for Lukaku to follow|
|Bertens battles back to blast past Kerber|
|Ramos apologises for training ground fracas|
|Raikkonen should take heed of Alonso misfortune as F1 career winds down|
|Guardiola wants Manchester City fans to push team to Champions League glory|
|Isco not interested in departed Ronaldo - he didn´t want to be here|
|World Series 2018: Three storylines to watch in Red Sox-Dodgers|
|Neymar focus bad for football - PSG´s Maxwell|
|Marco Ianni charged by FA over Jose Mourinho touchline row|
|Stephens sees off Osaka in see-saw Singapore battle|
|I´m happy at Manchester United - Mourinho dismisses Real Madrid reports|
|Semenya and Asher-Smith head IAAF Female World Athlete of the Year shortlist|
|Mandzukic to miss Manchester United trip|
|I turned down Manchester United to return to Juventus - Bonucci|
|Sanchez out of Manchester United´s clash with Juventus|
|Australia make Short work of run chase in T20 win|
|Brotherly g-love! Tommy Fury follows Tyson into the pros|
|Ozil´s international retirement can help Arsenal - Emery|
|If you sack Lopetegui, you have to sack us all – Isco|
|Lopetegui defiant amid Real Madrid sack reports|
|Sri Lanka spinner Herath to retire after Galle Test|
|Ronaldo returns for Old Trafford welcome amid disquieting noise|
|Garcia claims third Andalucia Valderrama Masters title|
|Ex-England international Waldrom retires|
|´Massive personality´ Hart can lift Burnley, says Kompany|
|Liverpool felt wrath of ´emotional´ Klopp, says Shaqiri|
|Reid: Jenkins capitalised on Kaepernick movement|
|Manchester United v Juventus: Ronaldo out to end dismal scoring record against Mourinho|
|Injured Ribery to miss Bayern´s clash with AEK|
|Wilshere would have stayed at Arsenal under Wenger|
|Mahomes stars again as Chiefs crush Bengals|
|Bolt must accept ´much less´ to join Mariners, says A-League chief|
|Klopp compares Liverpool to dog without favourite toy|
|Young leads Hawks to first win, Thunder fall in Westbrook´s return|
|Spalletti hits out at physical Milan – I had three players asking to be replaced|
|Cowboys, Ravens lose after missed kicks in final seconds|
|Hernangomez secures Nuggets´ win over Warriors with last-second block|
|Hasler returns to Manly on three-year deal|
|Sarri: Chelsea fans must respect Mourinho|
|Ronaldo learnt from Scholes – Pjanic praises Juventus star|
|CA dismisses spot-fixing claims|
|WATCH: Will Ferrell leads chants with LAFC fans|
|MLS Review: Galaxy on track for play-offs as Timbers, DC clinch spots|
|Elliott secures win at Hollywood Casino 400|