Third-tier Alessandria caused yet another Coppa Italia upset as Riccardo Bocalon fired them into the quarter-finals with a 2-1 extra-time victory at Serie A outfit Genoa.
Bocalon was left with a simple finish in the second additional period to send the visiting fans into raptures and his side into a potential last-eight clash with Roma.
Alessandria – the lowest-ranked team left in the competition – saw off top-flight Palermo to reach the last 16 and their unlikely quest to mark the 80th anniversary of their only previous final appearance in style gathered pace on Tuesday.
Either team could have gone in with the lead following an open first half, but both defences held firm as the tie remained goalless.
It did not take Alessandria long to make the breakthrough after the restart, though, with Manuel Marras latching onto a throughball to slot beyond Genoa goalkeeper Eugenio Lamanna inside a minute.
Andrea Cittadino cleared off the line from Tomas Rincon as Genoa pushed for a leveller, before Leonardo Pavoletti eventually forced extra time by nodding home after a free-kick from the left was headed back across the six-yard box.
Manuel Fischnaller headed agonisingly against the crossbar early in the additional 30 minutes and goalkeeper Gianmarco Vannucchi kept the Lega Pro team’s hopes alive with a number of good saves.
And his efforts were rewarded in the 114th minute when Marras squared the ball for Bocalon to tap home, Vannucchi making one more vital save before time was up.