The Sky Blues opened their Leasing.com Trophy campaign with a 5-4 penalty victory over Walsall after a goalless 90 minutes.
Making his first start for the Sky Blues, Tennai Watson scored the winning penalty after Ben Wilson saved Liam Kinsella’s spot kick.
After a cagey opening it was the Sky Blues who created the first opening as Amadou Bakayoko chased a long ball into the corner before muscling the Walsall defender aside, and drilling a low cross across the box to Callum O’Hare whose effort was deflected wide.
Fourteen minutes in, Bakayoko then tried his luck from the left-hand side as the forward made a driving run from the half way line and fired a ball across the six-yard line which was again cleared by the Walsall back line.
Walsall’s first chance came after 21 minutes as the ball bounced kindly for Elijah Adebayo on the edge of the penalty area but the forwards volley was tipped over the bar by Sky Blues ‘keeper Ben Wilson.
On the half an hour mark midfielder O’Hare tried his luck from 25 yards out however his effort flew over the bar.
Just moments later the Sky Blues worked a short corner to Sam McCallum who whipped in a teasing cross which was glanced on to the back post by Morgan Williams, however the angle was to tight for Gervane Kastaneer and his chested effort hit the side netting.
Ten minutes before half time Adebayo tried his luck from distance again as he curled a right footed shot towards goal, however Wilson was equal to it as he produced a fine save diving to his left to tip the ball wide for a corner.
HALF- TIME: Sky Blues 0 – 0 Walsall
Eleven minutes after the restart Walsall had their best opportunity of the game as Danny Guthrie floated a corner towards the back post which was headed back across goal by Adebayo to the unmarked Josh Gordon who planted a header over the bar from six yards out.
Walsall had another chance to break the deadlock 20 minutes before the end as Adebayo drove down the right wing before picking out substitute Rory Gaffney who failed to control the cross and the danger was cleared by Kyle McFadzean.
Adebayo continued to look lively and a few moments later the forward tried an acrobatic effort from 15 yards out but his improvised shot looped just wide of Wilson’s goal.
With just eight minutes to go Walsall midfielder Alfie Bates took aim from 20 yards after a ball broke from a corner however his effort didn’t trouble Wilson.
Just two minutes later, Sky Blues substitute Will Bapaga broke with the ball down the left before cutting inside and forcing Jack Rose into a save down low at his near post.
One minute from time, Bapaga then produced an almost identical run down the left however this time the youngster curled his shot towards the far post narrowly wide.
With the scores level after 90 minutes the tie went straight to a penalty shootout.
1. Max Biamou- Goal
2. Amadou Bakayoko- Miss
3. Kyle McFadzean- Miss
4. Josh Eccles- Goal
5. Will Bapaga- Goal
6. Sam McCallum- Goal
7. Tennai Watson- Goal
1. Rory Gaffney- Miss
2. Cameron Norman- Goal
3. Elijah Adebayo- Miss
4. James Hardy- Goal
5. Gary Liddle- Goal
6. Alfie Bates- Goal
7. Liam Kinsella-Miss
Yellows: Tennai Watson 25’, Alfie Bates 38’, Cameron Pring 62’, Will Bapaga 90’.
Attendance: 1005 (Away 326)
Sky Blues XI: Ben Wilson (GK), Tennai Watson, Kyle McFadzean (C), Morgan Williams, Sam McCallum, Josh Eccles, Dan Bartlett, Callum O’Hare (Will Bapaga 75’), Charlie Wakefield (Max Biamou 78’), Amadou Bakayoko, Gervane Kastaneer (Jack Burroughs 59’).
Unused Subs: Marko Marosi, Dom Hyam, Blaine Rowe, Jonny Ngandu.
Walsall XI: Jack Rose (GK), Cameron Pring, Liam Kinsella, Josh Gordon (Rory Gaffney 66’), Elijah Adebayo, Rory Holden (Cameron Norman 67’), Danny Guthrie (James Hardy 61’), Alfie Bates, Shay Facey, Gary Liddle (C), Zak Jules.
Unused Subs: Liam Roberts (GK), Stuart Sinclair, Caolan Lavery, Callum Cockerill-Mollett.