Okazaki and Kane both net off bench as Spurs hold Foxes in FA Cup
Jamie Clark, Sports Editor | January 10, 2016
Tottenham 2-2 Leicester City
- Eriksen has easy opener after Schmeichel error
- Foxes level through Wasilewski header from corner
- Okazaki completes turnaround two minutes after coming on
- Dyer handball gifts Kane late equaliser from penalty spot
- Spurs and Leicester must meet again in replay
Tottenham and Foxes in four-goal thriller
The tie of this year’s FA Cup third round did not disappoint, as Leicester City and fellow Premier League high-fliers Tottenham ended 2-2 in an entertaining encounter at White Hart Lane.
Marcin Wasilewski’s set-piece header cancelled out a Christian Eriksen opener before Foxes boss Claudio Ranireri made an inspired half-time substitution.
Shinji Okazaki made the perfect impact off the bench to seemingly sink Spurs, but a 50th goal for the hosts from Harry Kane late on ensured a replay at the King Power Stadium.
Leaving England duo Dele Alli and Kane on the bench, Mauricio Pochettino also made plenty of changes for this tie.
Eriksen gives hosts early lead
It fell to Nacer Chadli to make Kasper Schmeichel parry his cross-shot into the path of Denmark international Eriksen, who fired in the rebound to give Tottenham the lead inside eight minutes.
That advantage would only last until Polish centre half Wasilewski lost marker Toby Alderweireld and glanced Leicester debutant Demarai Gray’s corner home, however.
Schmeichel subsequently saved twice from Eriksen following his mistake, while Spurs stopper Michel Vorm was almost caught out by a deflected chip from Foxes midfielder Andy King after a poor clearance.
Ranieri reacted at half-time of this finely poised tie by putting on Okazaki for an out-of-sorts N’Golo Kante. The Japan international had only been on the pitch just a couple of minutes when he bundled the ball past Vorm at the second attempt.
Initially losing this tie in north London, Leicester now held the lead thanks to Okazaki’s endeavour. Nathan Dyer then shot narrowly wide through a defender’s legs.
A deflected Gray strike dipped just wide to spare Spurs blushes, and late on referee Bobby Madley spotted a handball in the box. Replays showed Dyer had indeed handled to stop Danny Rose.
Up stepped Kane to score the resultant penalty with a minute of the regulation 90 left. Neutrals were the definite winners here, and these two teams with top four and possibly even Premier League title ambitions have yet another game in a congested schedule to contend with now.
Tottenham are now 14/1 shots with Coral to lift the FA Cup, while Leicester are 33/1 chances to add silverware to a sensational season.