Leicester City has advanced to the fifth round of the English FA Cup after a narrow 1-0 victory over League Two side Walsall on Friday night. The Foxes were able to break the resistance of the Saddlers thanks to a fortuitous second-half strike from Nigerian forward Kelechi Iheanacho.
The 25-year-old came off the bench in the 63rd minute to replace Patson Daka and made an immediate impact, scoring the decisive goal five minutes later. Iheanacho struck from the edge of the box, with his shot deflecting off Brandon Comley and looping over Walsall goalkeeper Owen Evans. It was Iheanacho’s 17th goal in 23 FA Cup appearances, making him the most prolific player in the competition since his debut in 2016.
Leicester City coach Brendan Rodgers was pleased with Iheanacho’s performance, praising his ability to make an impact off the bench. “He made a big impact and some players have that ability coming off the bench. When gets his chances he scores. He has made a great impact in the competition since I’ve been here,” said Rodgers.
The Foxes’ coach is now hoping that Iheanacho can repeat the trick and help his side reach Wembley and stay in the Premier League. “Last time he did this, we won the FA Cup, so hopefully it’s an omen,” said Rodgers.
The victory over Walsall was Leicester City’s second successive 1-0 win against League Two opposition in the FA Cup this season, with Iheanacho scoring the winner on both occasions. Rodgers also promised that the Nigerian forward will get more game time now in the absence of injured Jamie Vardy and Daka who is desperately out of form.
“He will get more game time with Jamie Vardy out for a few weeks,” Rodgers continued. “When gets his chances he scores. He has made a great impact in the competition since I’ve been here.”
The Foxes will now discover their next opponents in the FA Cup fifth round on Monday and will be looking to continue their impressive run in the competition. With Iheanacho in top form and a clear desire to reach Wembley and lift the trophy once again, Leicester City will be a tough team to beat in the upcoming rounds.