MILAN - Inter struggled more than expected but eventually went through to the quarter-finals of the TIM Cup on penalties by beating Pordenone on Tuesday. After 120 minutes without a goal, the Nerazzurri overcame the Friuli side by a 5-4 spot-kick scoreline.
Pordenone took to the pitch without fear but the first effort of the match was for Inter. Eder tried his luck with a right-footed strike from the edge of the area and Perilli put it out for a corner. In the 13th minute, Karamoh had a big chance to break the deadlock. The French player received the ball from Ranocchia and burst into the box from the left but fired weakly at Perilli. In the 19th minute, Gagliardini tried to score a great goal from distance but couldn’t hit the target. The visitors had San Siro anxious in the 31st minute with an improvised effort by Magnaghi at the edge of the box forced Padelli to push the ball onto the post. Inter soon returned to pushing the issue through Dalbert, who attempted to score in the 38th minute after some confusion in the opposition area but his left-footed effort missed the target. The Friuli side threatened once again in the 40th minute as Lulli went through the middle before firing over from a good position. Two minutes before the break there was another good chance for Karamoh, but he couldn’t find the target and the sides went into the interval with the score level at 0-0.
The second half began with a change for the home side, with Spalletti sending on Brozovic in place of Pinamonti. Inter instantly picked up the pace, with Perilli initially keeping out Gagliardini in the 48th minute, before Brozovic then tried his luck just seconds later. Gagliardini had another pop in the 52nd minute, although his strike just failed to find the target. Pordenone had their first chance of the second half just two minutes later, with an effort from Sainz-Maza deflecting off Gagliardini and ending up just wide of the post. The Spaniard then tried his luck again not long after, although he could only find the side-netting. In response to the visitors’ ambition, Karamoh sought to get the Nerazzurri ahead, although was stopped for the umpteenth time by Perilli. He was replaced by Perisic instantly after. The Croatian’s introduction instantly breathed life into the Nerazzurri’s play out on the flanks, as he first tried to tee up Eder, before he then very nearly scored the opener just minutes later. Spalletti opted to bring on Icardi for Dalbert in the 80th minute, who very nearly prevented extra time with a header in the dying stages of normal play.
Inter picked up the pace following the brief interval, with Eder firstly firing wide a fierce effort in the 100th minute, before Icardi then hit the post with a header just four minutes later. Perilli was forced into action once again not long after, with Ranocchia getting his head onto a set-piece from Brozovic. With the clock ticking down, the Nerazzurri continued to push hard for a goal, however, neither Brozovic or Vecino could find the back of the net with their respective efforts. Extra time finally ended with the teams still inseparable, with penalties duly needed to decide the result.
A total of 14 spot kicks were needed to crown Tuesday’s victor, with Skriniar and Gagliardini both missing for Inter before Nagatomo eventually dispatched the winning spot-kick with complete composure. The Nerazzurri will now progress through to the quarter-finals of the TIM Cup, where they will face the winner of Milan vs. Hellas Verona.
INTER 0-0 PORDENONE (5-4 d.c.r.)
INTER: 27 Padelli; 55 Nagatomo, 37 Skriniar, 13 Ranocchia, 29 Dalbert (80' 9 Icardi); 11 Vecino, 5 Gagliardini; 7 Cancelo, 23 Eder, 17 Karamoh (68' 44 Perisic); 99 Pinamonti (46' 77 Brozovic)
Substitutes: 1 Handanovic, 46 Berni, 20 B. Valero, 21 Santon, 63 Emmers, 87 Candreva, 98 Lombardoni
Coach: Luciano Spalletti
PORDENONE: 1 Perilli; 2 Formiconi, 4 Stefani, 26 Bassoli, 23 Nunzella (116' 6 Parodi); 21 Misuraca, 8 Burrai, 5 Lulli; 10 Berrettoni (96' 17 Ciurria), 11 Sainz-Maza (80' 3 De Agostini); 27 Magnaghi
Substitutes: 12 Zommers, 7 Buratto, 14 Pellegrini, 15 Visentin, 18 Raffini, 19 Martignago, 20 Silvestro, 24 Danza, 25 Toffolini
Coach: Leonardo Colucci
Bookings: Perilli (P)
Added time: 0' + 3' + 2' + 1'
Assistants: La Rocca, Raspollini
Fourth Official: Pezzuto
VAR operators: Chiffi, Pairetto