Football

Leicester's Iheanacho scores first VAR goal in England

Leicester City's Kelechi Iheanacho scored the first goal in English football to be awarded using the Video Assistant Referee (VAR), as they reached the FA Cup fourth round with a 2-0 replay victory over third-tier Fleetwood Town yesterday morning (Singapore time).

Iheanacho, who had put the hosts ahead in the first half, was initially ruled offside when he deftly chipped the ball over the goalkeeper into the net in the 77th minute, but the goal was given after consultation between referee Jon Moss and the VAR.

Video replays showed former Manchester City striker Iheanacho was level with Fleetwood defender Nathan Pond's back foot before the Nigeria international raced clear to finish.

"I didn't know if I was onside or offside but I agree totally now that I was onside," Iheanacho told BT Sport.

"I was concentrating on the goal, I didn't think if I was onside or offside but Riyad (Mahrez) told me that I was onside. We just waited to see what the decision was."

Iheanacho, a £25-million (S$45.7m) signing from Manchester City in August, had endured a barren spell in front of goal since making the move, but was given a chance to shine with former Fleetwood striker Jamie Vardy starting on the bench.

The 21-year-old Nigerian opened the scoring with only his second goal for the club in the 43rd minute, as Islam Slimani played a neat ball over the top and Iheanacho coolly converted.

He was similarly sharp with 13 minutes remaining as he latched onto Riyad Mahrez's through-ball and lifted it precisely over Fleetwood goalkkeeper Chris Neal, only for his celebrations to be temporarily halted by the linesman's flag.

The goal was awarded, however, 68 seconds after it hit the net as video official Mike Jones told Moss that Pond's back foot had kept Iheanacho onside.

Up next for the Foxes in the fourth round are League One side Peterborough United.

Meanwhile, West Ham, who were held to a goalless draw at Shrewsbury in the first tie, needed 112 minutes of the replay to break the deadlock at the London Stadium.

The goal was worth waiting for, however, as Reece Burke met a cross and thrashed the ball into the top corner off the underside of the bar, leaving West Ham to play Bournemouth or Wigan Athletic in the next round.

Cardiff swatted League Two Mansfield aside 4-1 away to set up a tie at home to Premier League leaders Manchester City.

Sheffield Wednesday scored in either half through Marco Matias and Atdhe Nuhiu to beat visiting League Two outfit Carlisle 2-0.

Reading's Icelandic forward Jon Dadi Bodvarsson got a hat-trick for the second-tier side who beat Stevenage 3-0.

- REUTERS

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