John Arne Riise smashed home a penalty shoot-out winner as Fulham survived an almighty scare to win a pulsating Capital One Cup second round tie against League Two side Burton Albion.
The Brewers were outclassed for 75 minutes and the near full-strength visitors led through Adel Taarabt's superb strike, but Jack Dyer's shot made it 1-1 with five minutes left.
Substitute Michael Symes headed home in extra time to put the hosts ahead only for Hugo Rodallega's fierce shot to force penalties and Riise netted the winner after Dyer had missed.
The incredible finale seemed highly unlikely as the Premier League side completely dominated the first three-quarters of the match.
Taarabt was the outstanding creative player long before his sweetly struck effort put Fulham ahead on 36 minutes.
Martin Jol Fulham manager
“It could have been a bad night for us. The crowd smelt blood but it turned out nice in the end.”
The Moroccan midfielder showed his full range of tricks and had several shots on goal before a lengthy spell of possession ended with him beating Phil Edwards and finding the far corner of the net.
Burton, who are in the play-off spots and unbeaten after an impressive start to the season, struggled to win possession and, when they did were guilty of surrendering it far too easily.
The gulf in class looked too much for them before the interval although the giant figure of striker Rene Howe did pose problems. Howe tested keeper David Stockdale with a decent low strike and sent another shot just off target.
But apart from Howe's considerable physical threat and a few dangerous set-pieces, the west Londoners were largely untroubled and always in control.
Scott Parker was hugely impressive in the centre of the pitch and allowed the creative trio of Bryan Ruiz, Ashkan Dejagah and Taarabt plenty of time and space.
Taarabt's half-time exit did little to affect the visitors' rhythm as Ruiz became increasingly influential.
Fulham had chances to put the game out of reach, Bent wasting a one-on-one chance with on-rushing keeper Dean Lyness and substitute Alex Kacaniklic also going close.
But a barnstorming final 15 minutes in which Burton suddenly found their belief, saw Dyer go close with a rasping effort before he smashed home a similar chance when Chris Hussey crossed from the left with five minutes left.
Gary Rowett Burton Albion manager
“I thought we had some brilliant performances. To almost knock them out was incredible.”
Brewers substitute Symes had the ball in the net in the final moments but that was wiped out for handball.
Fulham regained their composure in the extra period and started to create chances. Bent had a near-post effort saved and Sascha Riether should have scored from 12 yards but blasted the ball against the foot of the post.
Burton, who were playing their first home League Cup tie and first game against Fulham, responded again and Symes put the hosts ahead, leaping highest at the far post to head home.
But Fulham's Rodallega smashed home a 117th-minute leveller to force the penalty drama.
Dyer was the unlucky man to miss his spot-kick and Riise blasted home the winner in front of the relieved travelling support.
Burton boss Gary Rowett: "I thought we had some brilliant performances.
"To almost knock them out was incredible. I thought we were brilliant, absolutely brilliant.
"We've got a brilliant group of players here and over 90 minutes we are still technically unbeaten this season."
Fulham manager Martin Jol: "It could have been a bad night for us. The crowd smelt blood but it turned out nice in the end.
"We put a strong side out because we wanted to win the tie. In England the lower league sides make it difficult for you, and they made it difficult for us.
"But I am pleased with the resilience of my squad, they showed that they wanted to get through."
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Live Text Commentary
John Arne Riise scores a penalty. Burton Albion 4-5 Fulham on penalties.125:50 Penalty
Chris Hussey scores a penalty. Burton Albion 4-4 Fulham on penalties.125:21 Penalty
Penalty scored by Hugo Rodallega. Burton Albion 3-4 Fulham on penalties.124:42 Penalty
Damien McCrory scores a penalty. Burton Albion 3-3 Fulham on penalties.124:14 Penalty
Sascha Riether scores a penalty. Burton Albion 2-3 Fulham on penalties.123:32
Penalty taken by Phil Edwards saved by David Stockdale. David Stockdale saves a penalty.123:12 Penalty
Bryan Ruiz scores a penalty. Burton Albion 2-2 Fulham on penalties.122:10 Penalty
Adam Reed scores a penalty. Burton Albion 2-1 Fulham on penalties.121:36 Penalty
Darren Bent scores a penalty. Burton Albion 1-1 Fulham on penalties.121:01 Penalty
Penalty scored by Michael Symes. Burton Albion 1-0 Fulham on penalties.120:01
The players are ready for the drama of the penalty shoot-out.120:00 +2:06
The match is going to penalties.120:00 +0:46
Pajtim Kasami takes a shot and went wide left of the target.120:00 +0:35
Alex Kacaniklic takes a shot.118:59
Shot by Hugo Rodallega went wide right of the target.118:30
Pajtim Kasami restarts play with the free kick.118:22
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Scott Parker by Marcus Holness.118:05
Clearance by John Arne Riise.117:59
Corner taken by Chris Hussey from the right by-line.117:30
Shot by Adam Reed.
Goal! - Hugo Rodallega - Burton 2 - 2 Fulham Hugo Rodallega grabs a goal with a right foot finish. Burton Albion 2-2 Fulham.116:37
Scott Parker takes a shot and bounced off the bar.115:19
John Arne Riise crosses the ball.114:35
Alex Kacaniklic has an effort at goal. Dean Lyness catches the ball.113:30
Shot by Chris Hussey. David Stockdale safely holds on.113:09
Free kick taken by Sascha Riether.112:57
Foul by Michael Symes on Bryan Ruiz, free kick awarded.111:00
Centre by John Arne Riise.109:20
Marcus Holness manages to make a clearance.109:17
Sascha Riether delivers the ball.109:04
Free kick taken by Brede Hangeland.109:01
The assistant referee signals for offside against Michael Symes.108:44
Clearance by Brede Hangeland.108:31
Corner from the left by-line taken by Chris Hussey.108:12
Jimmy Phillips takes a shot.106:46
Phil Edwards restarts play with the free kick.106:37 Booking
Hugo Rodallega is shown a yellow card for persistent infringement.106:32
Phil Edwards fouled by Hugo Rodallega, the ref awards a free kick.105:01
The game restarts for the second half of extra time.105:00 +1:26
Dean Lyness takes the free kick.105:00 +1:19
Foul by Darren Bent on Marcus Holness, free kick awarded.104:49
David Stockdale restarts play with the free kick.104:42
Chris Hussey challenges Sascha Riether unfairly and gives away a free kick.104:29
Free kick taken by Marcus Holness.103:51
Darren Bent gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jack Dyer.103:27
Shot by Jimmy Phillips cleared the target.102:46 Substitution
Substitution Hugo Rodallega replaces Giorgos Karagounis.101:30
The assist for the goal came from Chris Hussey.101:30 Goal scored
Goal! - Michael Symes - Burton 2 - 1 Fulham Michael Symes grabs a goal with a headed effort. Burton Albion 2-1 Fulham.101:23
The ball is delivered by Chris Hussey.101:20
The ball is swung over by Damien McCrory.99:59
Shot by Bryan Ruiz went over the bar.99:02
Brede Hangeland manages to make a clearance.98:31
Matthew Palmer takes the free kick.98:11
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Matthew Palmer by Pajtim Kasami.97:29
Sascha Riether takes a shot.97:18
Sascha Riether takes a shot and hits the post.96:31
Shot by Scott Parker.96:00 Booking
Jimmy Phillips receives a caution.95:37
Clearance by Michael Symes.95:30
Corner taken by Alex Kacaniklic.95:08
Pajtim Kasami takes a shot. Dean Lyness parries the ball away.94:49
Chris Hussey is ruled offside.93:39
Ian Sharps manages to make a clearance.93:21
Corner from the left by-line taken by Alex Kacaniklic.93:01
Shot by Darren Bent. A parry by Dean Lyness prevents the goal.92:37
Clearance made by Damien McCrory.92:32
Corner taken by Giorgos Karagounis.91:44
Damien McCrory takes a shot. David Stockdale safely holds on.91:21
Shot by Adam Reed.90:46
John Arne Riise restarts play with the free kick.90:37
Jack Dyer challenges Scott Parker unfairly and gives away a free kick.90:00 +4:11
The referee blows for the end of normal time.90:00 +2:50
Ian Sharps takes the free kick.90:00 +2:48
The referee blows for offside.90:00 +2:44
Free kick taken by Brede Hangeland.90:00 +2:38
Bryan Ruiz fouled by Matthew Palmer, the ref awards a free kick.90:00 +2:26
Aaron Hughes makes a clearance.90:00 +2:24
Centre by Damien McCrory.89:58
Brede Hangeland restarts play with the free kick.89:22 Booking
Michael Symes receives a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.89:12
The referee gives a free kick against Michael Symes for handball.89:03
The ball is crossed by Chris Hussey.87:51
Direct strike on goal from the free kick by Giorgos Karagounis goes left of the target.87:30 Booking
Matthew Palmer receives a caution.87:22
Unfair challenge on Pajtim Kasami by Matthew Palmer results in a free kick.86:28
Brede Hangeland restarts play with the free kick.86:26
The referee blows for offside against Chris Hussey.86:04
Alex Kacaniklic takes the free kick.85:35
Unfair challenge on Alex Kacaniklic by Phil Edwards results in a free kick.84:42
Assist by Chris Hussey.84:42 Goal scored
Goal! - Jack Dyer - Burton 1 - 1 Fulham Jack Dyer scores a right footed goal. Burton Albion 1-1 Fulham.84:29
Centre by Chris Hussey.83:54
Matthew Palmer takes the free kick.83:49 Substitution
Substitution Pajtim Kasami is brought on as a substitute for Ashkan Dejagah.83:23
Ashkan Dejagah gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Michael Symes.80:58
Chris Hussey has an effort at goal. David Stockdale catches the ball.78:15
A cross is delivered by Jack Dyer.78:08
Brede Hangeland makes a clearance.78:05
The ball is crossed by Chris Hussey.77:06 Substitution
Substitution Michael Symes joins the action as a substitute, replacing Rene Howe.74:29
Centre by Chris Hussey.72:45
Jack Dyer takes a shot and went wide left of the goal.72:29
The ball is delivered by Chris Hussey.72:03
The ball is crossed by Chris Hussey.71:19
Matthew Palmer restarts play with the free kick.71:12
Scott Parker gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Matthew Palmer.71:02
Corner from the right by-line taken by Giorgos Karagounis.70:32
Darren Bent delivers the ball.70:28
Brede Hangeland takes the free kick.69:55
Jimmy Phillips challenges Ashkan Dejagah unfairly and gives away a free kick.66:56
Darren Bent takes a shot. Dean Lyness parries the effort to safety.66:15
The ball is crossed by Ashkan Dejagah.65:41
John Arne Riise restarts play with the free kick.65:30
Jack Dyer goes into the book.65:30 Booking
Foul by Jack Dyer on Giorgos Karagounis, free kick awarded.65:01
Clearance by Brede Hangeland.64:56
A cross is delivered by Chris Hussey.61:45
Free kick taken by Giorgos Karagounis.61:38
Giorgos Karagounis fouled by Jimmy Phillips, the ref awards a free kick.60:34 Substitution
Substitution Jimmy Phillips replaces Lee Bell.60:10 Substitution
Substitution Adam Reed joins the action as a substitute, replacing Robbie Weir.58:35
Corner from the right by-line taken by Giorgos Karagounis.58:21
Bryan Ruiz takes a shot.57:40
Sascha Riether sends in a cross.55:08
Ashkan Dejagah takes a shot. Dean Lyness safely holds on.53:19
Scott Parker takes the chance to get an effort at goal and missed to the left of the target.53:03
Ashkan Dejagah takes a shot.50:33
Ian Sharps restarts play with the free kick.50:22
The referee gives a free kick against Alex Kacaniklic for handball.49:37
A cross is delivered by Phil Edwards.45:01
The referee blows the whistle to start the second half.45:01 Substitution
Substitution Alex Kacaniklic replaces Adel Taarabt.45:00 +1:05 Half time
Half Time The match has reached half-time.45:00 +1:01
Free kick taken by Ian Sharps.45:00 +0:59
The offside flag is raised against Darren Bent.41:49
Clearance made by Sascha Riether.41:38
Corner taken by Chris Hussey.41:08
Brede Hangeland manages to make a clearance.41:04
Phil Edwards delivers the ball.39:53
Rene Howe takes a shot.37:38
Bryan Ruiz takes the chance to get an effort at goal.35:14
Assist by Scott Parker.35:14 Goal scored
Goal! - Adel Taarabt - Burton 0 - 1 Fulham Adel Taarabt scores with a right foot finish. Burton Albion 0-1 Fulham.34:17
Ian Sharps makes a clearance.34:07
Corner taken by Giorgos Karagounis.33:51
Scott Parker takes a shot.33:13
Phil Edwards manages to make a clearance.33:10
Corner from the left by-line taken by Adel Taarabt.32:55
Phil Edwards makes a clearance.32:51
Sascha Riether sends in a cross.29:42
Shot by Giorgos Karagounis cleared the net.27:36
Shot by Chris Hussey went wide of the left-hand post.24:18
Robbie Weir makes a clearance.24:13
Corner taken by Giorgos Karagounis from the left by-line.23:55
Darren Bent takes the chance to get an effort at goal.23:02
Dean Lyness takes the free kick.22:39
Handball by Ashkan Dejagah.22:03
Brede Hangeland manages to make a clearance.21:36
Centre by Ashkan Dejagah.20:00
Aaron Hughes makes a clearance.19:31
Centre by Ashkan Dejagah.18:16
The ball is delivered by Chris Hussey.17:21
Rene Howe takes a shot and went wide right of the net.15:36
Damien McCrory makes a clearance.15:30
Corner taken by Giorgos Karagounis from the right by-line.12:33
Shot by Adel Taarabt cleared the bar.11:44
Darren Bent delivers the ball.8:08
Ashkan Dejagah delivers the ball.3:32
Adel Taarabt takes a shot. Dean Lyness catches the ball.2:50
Scott Parker takes the free kick.2:44
Foul by Jack Dyer on Adel Taarabt, free kick awarded.2:22
Clearance made by Rene Howe.2:17
Corner taken by Giorgos Karagounis.0:23
The ball is crossed by Chris Hussey.0:00
The referee gets the game underway.
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