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Leicester City 2-0 Fleetwood Town: Historic Iheanacho brace ensures comfortable FA Cup progression for the Foxes

Daniel Orme in Editorial, FA Cup, General Soccer News 16 Jan 2018

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Kelechi Iheanacho scored the first-ever goal given by VAR in English football against Fleetwood Town in the FA Cup on Tuesday evening.

The young striker tucked the ball home in the 77th minute, only for the goal to be ruled out for offside. Referee Jon Moss consulted the VAR and overturned the original decision to award the strike. The former Manchester City man had previously opened the scoring in the final minutes of the first-half with a well-taken finish.

Fleetwood fire early on

It took until mid-way through the first-half for really the first real opening of the game to present itself. From a Leicester corner, the visitors broke through Conor McAleny. The 25-year-old drove through the midfield and elected to test Eldin Jakupović with a curling effort. The ball though was strongly palmed away by the Swiss goalkeeper.

Skipper Riyad Mahrez also then went close from a free-kick and was unlucky just to shave the post. Jakupović had to be called into action again as he tipped over a powerful effort from Kyle Dempsey that looked to be looping into the net.

Lacklustre Leicester lead at the break

Despite an under-par opening period from Claude Puel’s men, they went into the break ahead through Kelechi Iheanacho soon after. Islam Slimani played the ball through to the Nigerian youngster and he took it down with a sumptuous touch and finished underneath the on-rushing Chris Neal.

Slimani went close just after the break after combining well with goal-scorer Iheanacho. The Algerian forward though shot wide of goal with the ball dropping over his shoulder.

Slow-burning second period

The Foxes did have the ball in the back of the net again through Iheanacho but the goal was ruled out. Demarai Gray found space and cut back to the striker, with him finishing well. The linesman though discounted the strike with the ball fractionally going out.

The Premier League outfit did have grounds for a penalty appeal with Vicente Iborra being held by Nathan Pond. Referee Jon Moss consulted VAR but waved the appeals away.

VAR argument gathers pace

The video assistant referee intervened again not long after, but was this time on Leicester’s side. Mahrez raced through the Fleetwood midfield and played a lovely ball to Iheanacho. The former Manchester City striker lifted the ball into the net but the goal was ruled out for offside. Following a brief conversation with VAR, the original decision was over-ruled and Iheanacho was able to celebrate.

Former Fleetwood Town striker Jamie Vardy was introduced to the fray for an emotional cameo. He wasn’t able to trouble the Cod Army’s defence as Leicester booked a well-deserved progression.

Final Thoughts

Fleetwood Town fought well on the night but the Foxes much deserved their progression to the Fourth Round. Two well-taken finishes from Iheanacho was more than enough to make sure Claude Puel’s men meet Peterborough United.

Uwe Rosler’s men will be proud of their efforts and threatened Leicester in the first-half. They were simply not able to continue their efforts in the second-half and fall in the Third Round.

Match Report

Leicester City: Jakupović (6); Amartey (6), Dragović (7), Benalouane (6), Fuchs (7); Mahrez (7) (Vardy (N/A), 81′), Iborra (7), Silva (7), Gray (7); Iheanacho (8) (Okazaki (N/A), 81′), Slimani (5) (Albrighton (), 55′).

Fleetwood Town: Neal (6); Jones (6), Bolger (6), Pond (6), Bell (6); Glendon (6), Schwabl (6) (Grant (5), 72′), Dempsey (6); Hiwula (5) (Cole (5), 65′), Hunter (5), McAleny (7) (Burns (5), 65′).

Goals: Iheanacho (43′, 77′)

Referee: Jon Moss

Yellow Cards: Iheanacho (17′), Benalouane (35′), Glendon (45′), Dempsey (71′)

Red Cards: N/A

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Daniel Orme


Daniel is a football journalism graduate from the University of Derby. He has been freelance writing for approximately six years now and brings considerable experience. A season ticket holder at local club Leicester City, he witnessed the Foxes miraculously lifting the Premier League trophy in the 2015/16 campaign.

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