Parma beat Cagliari 2-1 to reach the Coppa Italia quarter-finals with a Gabriel Paletta overhead kick and Andrea Rispoli strike.
The winners of this Round of 16 tie go on to face either Juventus or Hellas Verona next month at the Stadio Tardini.
Gianfranco Zola was fresh from his first Serie A victory and made huge changes for this Coppa Italia tie, throwing new signings Alejandro Gonzalez, Josef Husbauer and Duje Cop straight into the starting XI. The Ducali kept a relatively strong line-up, including Albania international Andi Lila for his debut.
It wasn’t a promising first appearance for Lila, who picked up a calf injury and limped off after just 13 minutes.
Parma had the better of the game from the start, wasting great chances with Soufiane Bidaoui, Andrea Rispoli and Daniele Galloppa.
The deadlock was broken on the stroke of half-time, as a free kick was nodded on and Gabriel Paletta reacted brilliantly with an overhead kick.
Antonio Cassano was having a wonderful game, setting up teammates who failed to make the most of his assists, including Paolo De Ceglie, Bidaoui and Rispoli again.
Cagliari stayed in the game and took advantage, as Farias sprung the offside trap and managed to set up Marco Sau for the simplest of tap-ins.
Cassano was substituted and complained to Roberto Donadoni as he walked off the field. Sau was clear on goal, but tried to lob Antonio Mirante and the goalkeeper didn’t fall for it.
Parma avoided extra time thanks to a great individual goal from Rispoli, who surged forward from midfield and smashed home the fierce strike from the edge of the box. He seemed almost moved to tears during his celebration.
Parma 2-1 Cagliari
Scorers: Paletta 45 (P), Sau 69 (C), Rispoli 84 (P)
Parma: Mirante; Paletta, Mendes, Felipe (Santacroce 78); Rispoli, Mariga, Lila (Souza 13), Galloppa, De Ceglie; Cassano (Pozzi 70), Bidaoui
Cagliari: Colombi; Dessena, Gonzalez, Benedetti, Murru; Barella, Conti (Capuano 78), Capello (Sau 56); Farias, Husbauer (Donsah 46), Cop
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