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Leicester City

Iheanacho the FA Cup hero as Leicester City edge past Gillingham

17:39 SAST 2023/01/07
Kelechi Iheanacho Leicester City.
Kelechi Iheanacho scored to propel Leicester City to the Fourth Round of the FA Cup following a 1-0 victory over League Two's Gillingham.
  • Iheanacho returns to the starting eleven with a goal
  • The Foxes advance in the FA Cup
  • The Nigerian’s good goalscoring record in the FA Cup continues

WHAT HAPPENED? Iheanacho returned to the starting XI as Brendan Rodgers made eight changes to the team that was defeated 1-0 by Fulham in the Premier League on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian could have grabbed an assist in the ninth minute, but Kasey McAteer’s final shot – after receiving the cross from the forward – was blocked.

Iheanacho came close to breaking the deadlock in the 44th minute, but his header from inside the box was blocked. Another chance came up a minute later, but the Super Eagle missed the target as he attempted to find the back of the net from the right side of the box.

Finally, Iheanacho put the Foxes ahead in the 56th minute when he successfully fired the ball into the left corner. Jamie Vardy spotted the Nigerian at the centre of the box, and the African star did well to score with his left-foot.

The former Manchester City forward – after receiving the ball from Youri Tielemans - would have grabbed a brace at the hour mark, but his effort was saved.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: The Foxes’ FA Cup hero in 2021 has been overlooked in recent games as Rodgers has preferred Vardy and Patson Daka as his two attackers.

Although Daka – who has not scored in his last nine games - and Vardy have not been effective in goal, Iheanacho has continuously failed to make it into the starting XI. 

The goal represented Iheanacho’s good run in the FA Cup. Since he made his debut in the competition in 2016, he has scored more FA Cup goals than any other player (16).

ALL EYES ON: After scoring, the Foxes and Nigerian fans will follow closely to see whether Rodgers will have him in the starting XI more often going forward.

THE VERDICT: Upon his return to the starting lineup, Iheanacho posted impressive output. He managed five shots, two shots on target, and two key passes, while his passing accuracy was recorded at 81.8 percent.

WHAT NEXT FOR IHEANACHO? Leicester City will be in action when they visit Newcastle United for a League Cup match on January 10.