Kane penalty kick gives Tottenham replay against Leicester
Tottenham and Leicester will head to an FA Cup replay at the King Power after a 2-2 draw Sunday evening at White Hart Lane. The result was hard on the Foxes, who conceded a controversial penalty late, allowing Harry Kane to score from the spot. The two teams will decide the tie in a week and a half’s time.
Both coaches made significant changes for the game, the first of an unusual fixture double-header: the two teams will meet again next week in the league. But from the start, both teams played to type, with Spurs looking to control the pace and flow of the match while Leicester hang back and looked to spring the counter.
But those changes mattered. Spurs, who have long been derided as a “soft” touch when it comes to big games, have displayed steel this season with the pairing of Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld in the heart of the back line. Today, Vertonghen sat, and the Foxes hit Spurs for two quick goals that a stiffer side would have avoided.
But, for much of the first half, the game went the London club’s way. Spurs’ dominance in the match paid dividends after just eight minutes, with Christian Eriksen burying a rebound. Leicester keeper Kasper Schmeichel was poor on the goal, parrying a strike from Nacer Chadli right into the Dane’s path, and could not recover in time to stop the half-volley. But it was a superb team goal, with Spurs starting out of the midfield via Joshua Onomah, and using Chadli as a pure winger to draw the Foxes’ defense apart.
Spurs looked to be in again ten minutes later on a similar storming move, with Heung-Min Son rounding three players only to see Marcin Wasilweski make a saving block.
The Foxes might have been overrun but they were not out, and just two minutes later, Wasilewski nicked the equalizer. Left utterly alone in the heart of the box on a routine corner from new boy Demarai Gray, the Pole crouched and smashed a bullet header through Michel Vorm to the far post.
That goal rattled Spurs, and the remainder of the half was largely played in the center of the pitch, with Leicester perfectly content to allow Spurs to ping the ball about while waiting for an opportunity. Danny Rose was given freedom to run, but while he was often able to get around the back of the Foxes’ defense, his crossing is so poor that the moves fizzled out. At the other end, Gray sparkled on his debut, peppering Vorm’s area with service, but rarely finding the finish.
Claudio Ranieri removed the ineffective N’Golo Kante at the half for Shinji Okazaki, and the move paid immediate dividends. Two minutes into the half, Andy King recycled a corner and sprung Okazaki inside near left. Okazaki beat two men to fire a shot off Vorm, and while the keeper stopped the first, he was unable to cover up the rebound. Okazaki promptly buried it.
The Foxes then throttled the game, repelling Spurs every time they chanced forward, and showing tremendous energy every time they got the ball back. As the half wore on, it looked less and less likely that Spurs would find a breakthrough, even after chucking on starlet Kane, and a glance at the stats showed that Schmeichel had indeed been untroubled.
But with just a minute to play, Bobby Madley pointed to the spot after judging Nathan Dyer to have handled the ball under pressure from Danny Rose. It was a questionable call, but the ref had no hesitation about giving it, and despite pleas from Leicester to consult his assistant, the decision stood. Kane stepped up to the spot, and despite Schmeichel moving the right way, his shot had too much on it to be stopped.