Catania held Parma to a 1-1 draw after extra time at the Tardini, then earned a place in the Coppa Italia Quarter-Finals in a penalty shoot-out.
The Elefantini scraped into the Round of 16 in extra time against nine-man Cittadella, but were boosted by earning their first away win of the season at Siena on Sunday. The Ducali had lost their last two League games.
Marco Parolo forced a tricky save early on with his strike from the edge of the box, but it was Dorlan Pabon who opened the scoring with a splendid volley. Jonathan Biabiany crossed for the Colombian at the back post and he kept the volley low across Alberto Frison. It was Pabon’s first goal for the club since his €5m summer signing.
It was nearly 2-0 soon after, as a free kick was charged down and Sotiris Ninis hit a screamer on the rebound that Frison palmed round the upright.
Catania were awarded a penalty, though, as Massimo Gobbi blocked a Pablo Alvarez shot with his arm. Parma were furious, as he appeared to be turning round in order to get out of the way and it struck his elbow. Francesco Lodi stepped up and converted the spot-kick.
Ninis and Amauri went close to restoring Parma’s advantage, but were unable to find the target. Pablo Barrientos stung Nicola Pavarini’s palms after the restart, but Amauri somehow failed to score when Pabon rolled across for him to come sliding in and shin it wide from seven yards.
Taka Morimoto then followed with an incredible miss of his own, as the Japanese international was clear on goal after springing the offside trap, but blasted wide with only the goalkeeper to beat.
Frison did well to capture a Yohan Benalouane header from close range and Gabriel Paletta charged down a Gonzalo Bergessio strike in front of goal. Neither side was able to break the deadlock, so this tie went to extra time.
Catania gave former Atletico Madrid youth product Keko his debut for the club, but it was Ishak Belfodil who saw a shot palmed on to the upright by Frison. Still inseperable, qualification for the Quarter-Finals had to be decided in a penalty shoot-out.
Pavarini saved from Pablo Barrientos, but Frison did the same on Parolo to even the scores. Parma’s last kick of the five saw Gabriel Paletta crack against the upright, so Giovanni Marchese converted to send Catania through. They face Lazio or Siena in the Quarter-Final next month.
Parma 1-1 Catania (aet)
Scorers: Pabon 12 (P), Lodi pen 19 (C)
Shoot-out: Pabon (P – goal), Barrientos (C – saved), Marchionni (P – goal), Alvarez (C – goal), Parolo (P – saved), Lodi (C – goal), Ninis (P – goal), Bergessio (C – goal), Paletta (P – post), Marchese (C – goal)
Parma: Pavarini; Zaccardo (Santacroce 46), Paletta, Benalouane, Gobbi; Ninis, Valdes (Marchionni 67), Parolo; Biabiany, Amauri (Belfodil 74), Pabon
Catania: Frison; Alvarez, Legrottaglie, Bellusci, Capuano; Salifu, Lodi, Almiron (Keko 97); Castro (Marchese 97), Morimoto (Bergessio 69), Barrientos