Inter squeezed past a heroic Pordenone side on penalties, to seal their place in the Coppa Italia quarter-finals.
The Nerazzurri couldn't find a way past the Serie C side over 120 minutes, but Yuto Nagatomo's kick in the shoot-out saw them through to face Milan or Verona.
Inter Coach Luciano Spalletti confirmed in his pre-match Press conference he’d be making changes, and only Milan Skriniar and Matias Vecino remained in the starting XI after the 0-0 draw with Juventus on Saturday.
Chances were given to the likes of Yann Karamoh, Andrea Ranocchia and backup goalkeeper Daniele Padelli.
Eder was the first to try his luck, hitting a low strike from the edge of the box which Simone Perilli did well to tip around the post.
Pordenone appealed for offside as the ball went through to Karamoh, but though the flag stayed down the young Frenchman’s shot was easily saved.
The offside trap failed the Lega Pro side once again on 21 minutes, but Perilli was off his line quickly to save Karamoh’s shot.
The Beneamata had dominated the opening stages, but Pordenone were growing in confidence and they came within centimetres of taking the lead after half an hour.
Simone Magnaghi unleashed a great strike from the edge of the box, and Padelli had to fingertip it on to the post.
Marcelo Brozovic came on for Andrea Pinamonti at half-time and was almost immediately set-up by Karamoh, but he scuffed wide with the goal gaping.
The visitors weren’t sitting in though, and Miguel Maza’s shot trickled wide after deflecting of Roberto Gagliardini.
From the resulting corner, Padelli had to leap out of his goal to pluck the ball out of the air after it had been headed across at the back post.
Karamoh had yet another chance saved from Perilli, before being withdrawn for Ivan Perisic.
The Croatian had the chance to put Inter 1-0 up after more fine work from Cancelo, but like his compatriot Brozovic he side footed it wide.
Cancelo had an effort of his own on the volley from Dalbert’s cross, but he couldn’t get enough power in it and the goalkeeper gathered.
Spalletti was growing increasingly frustrated on the touchline, and he sent on top-scorer Mauro Icardi in place of Dalbert.
Even the Argentine couldn’t break the deadlock though, heading over from six yards after another fine cross from Cancelo.
Pordenone were starting to look a little ragged, and Perilli had to clutch a hard, low cross from Ivan Perisic in injury time.
The Serie A leaders continued to ramp up the pressure in extra-time, and Icardi heading against the post the post from Perisic’s cross.
Perilli was decisive once again, tipping Brozovic’s free-kick away after Ranocchia just failed to get a boot onto it.
Incredibly, the match went to a penalty shoot-out, but things got off to a bad start for Pordenone when Padelli saved Gianvito Misuraca’s kick.
Brozovic and Salvatore Burrai, Perisic and Magnaghi all scored their efforts, before Milan Skriniar missed for the Nerazzurri.
Luca Lulli had the chance to put the Ramarri ahead, but he blazed his effort over the crossbar.
Roberto Gagliardini had the chance to put Inter back ahead, but Perilli saved the midfielder’s spot kick with his legs.
Captain Mirko Stefani scored for the Lega Pro side, so Icardi had to find the back of the net to keep the Beneamata in the cup, but the Argentina was typically cool to slot his penalty home.
That saw the kicks go to sudden death, and Patrick Ciurria scored to hand his side the advantage, but Matias Vecino made no mistake to level things at 4-4.
On-loan Juventus defender Giulio Parodi was next up for Pordenone, but his kick was saved and Yuto Nagatomo stepped up to seal Inter’s place in the quarter-finals.
The efforts of the visitors didn’t go unnoticed though, with the third division side receiving a standing ovation from the Inter supporters, as well as their 4,000 travelling fans.
Inter 0-0 Pordenone [Inter win 5-4 on penalties]
Inter: Padelli; Nagatomo, Skriniar, Ranocchia, Dalbert (Icardi, 80); Vecino, Gagliardini’ Cancelo, Eder, Karamoh (Perisic, 67); Pinamonti (Brozovic, 46)
Pordenone: Perilli; Formiconi, Stefani, Bassoli, Nunzella (Parodi, 116); Misuraca, Burrai, Lulli; Maza (De Agostini, 80), Berrettoni (Ciurria, 97); Magnaghi.
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