Sunderland beat Shrewsbury Town 1-0 to make it through to the third round of the EFL Cup thanks to a stunning Adnan Januzaj strike.
The Belgian popped up six minutes from time with a superb effort from the edge of the area.
Sunderland had made hard work of the win in what was a dire contest against League One Shrewsbury at the Stadium of Light.
But David Moyes's side did just about enough to progress to the next round.
Sunderland started well on a balmy night on Wearside, winning two dangerous free-kicks in the opening 10 minutes of the game.
But first Adnan Januzaj and then Patrick van Aanholt blasted their efforts straight into the wall.
For all their positive work on the outskirts of the penalty area, Sunderland lacked a goal threat in the opening 15 minutes with ex-Boro keeper Jayson Leutwiler untested.
Sunderland's set pieces were poor, with too many free-kicks and corners squandered.
It was a dire first half, with too many mistakes from both sides, possession gifted away and no real efforts on goal in the opening 45 minutes at the Stadium of Light.
The game briefly sparked into life when the impressive Steven Pienaar burst through on goal but under pressure he cleared the crossbar, and that was one of the better chances.
Captain for the night, van Aanholt almost put Sunderland 1-0 up two minutes before half-time but Leutwiler was quick off his line to smother the danger.
Sunderland lacked penetration as League One Shrewsbury went in level at the break.
Half-time: Sunderland 0 Shrewsbury Town 0:
The second half started in a similar vein to the first, though Shrewsbury did start to show more attacking intent 10 minutes in.
Newcastle United loanee Ivan Toney saw a shot comfortably gathered by Pickford from a corner 55 minutes in.
Sunderland then carved out their best effort two minutes later, Januzaj slipped the ball into the feet of Asoro 10-yards out but his shot was blocked at close-range by Leutwiler.
Pickford then made a flying save after 62 minutes to deny Toney, who had fired in a superb shot on an angle from the left-hand side of the area.
The game was really poor, one of the worst you will see this season.
Sunderland should have taken the lead after 78 minutes, Gooch slipped in van Aanholt who cut the ball back to Khazri six-yards out.
He hit it well enough but couldn't get the direction right as it flew wide of the left-hand post.
Finally, Sunderland got the breakthrough in the 84th minute thanks to a screamer from Manchester United loanee Januzaj.
Pickford released Watmore, who burst forward. The ball fell to Khazri, who played in Januzaj 22-yards out from goal and he made no mistake with a stunning effort.
Sunderland - who survived a late scare from sub George Waring's diving header - should have had a penalty after Adam El-Abd fouled Asoro inside the area but referee Jeremy Simpson waved it away.
Sunderland held on to progress.
Full-time: Sunderland 1 Shrewsbury Town 0
Sunderland: Pickford, van Aanholt (C), Djilobodji, McNair, Love, Rodwell, Pienaar (Watmore, 60), Gooch, Khazri, Januzaj, Asoro.
Subs Not Used: Stryjek, E Robson, T Robson, Greenwood, Honeyman, J Robson.
Booked: Gooch (55)
Goal: Januzaj (84)
Shrewsbury Town: Leutwiler, Deegan, McGivern, Brown, Dodds (Mangan, 73), El-Abd (C), Ogogo, Lancashire, Riley, Sarcevic (O'Brien, 62),Toney (Waring, 78).
Subs Not Used: Halstead, Black, El Ouriachi, Leitch-Smith.
Booked: Deegan (7), Sarcevic (28).
Referee: Jeremy Simpson (Lancashire)