Marko Rog’s stunner was the stand-out as 10-man Cagliari pushed past Chievo 2-1 and will face Sampdoria or Crotone in the Coppa Italia Fourth Round.
The Sardinians used a star-studded XI at the Sardegna Arena for their first competitive match of the season against recently-relegated Chievo.
Joao Pedro put the hosts in front early doors, as Artur Ionita’s header bounced off the crossbar and into the path of Joao Pedro for the tap-in.
Soon after, Marko Rog made his first mark in a Cagliari jersey with a magnificent solo effort, as he cut inside to unleash a right-foot screamer into the top corner.
Ionita also tested Adrian Semper, but the Sardinians went down to 10 men after goalkeeper Rafael handled outside the box.
Moments later, Chievo took advantage to get back into the game, with Manuel Pucciarelli on the rebound from a parried Esposito free kick.
Despite being a man down, Cagliari continued to push for more goals, Lykogiannis and Leonardo Pavoletti testing the goalkeeper.
Chievo so nearly forced extra time in stoppages, but Pina Nunes somehow fired wide when clear on goal.
Cagliari 2-1 Chievo
Joao Pedro 7 (Ca), Rog 17 (Ca), Pucciarelli 42 (Ch)
Cagliari: Rafael; Pinna (Pisacane 85), Ceppitelli, Klavan, Lykogiannis; Rog (Nandez 70), Nainggolan, Ionita; Birsa (Aresti 41); Joao Pedro, Pavoletti
Sent off: Rafael 40 (Ca)
Image credit: @CagliariCalcio Twitter
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