Kelechi Iheanacho made English football history on Tuesday night in the fifth round of the FA Cup replay against Fleetwood, after becoming the first player to have a goal awarded by VAR technology.
The Nigerian international who has been in the fringes at the King Power stadium this season was asked to start ahead of England striker, Jamie Vardy. The 21-year old did not disappoint as he starred in a number 10 role behind Slimani, and his brace told the story of his impressive performance as Leicester beat Fleetwood 2-0.
Iheanacho got his first with a well taken finish in the 43rd minute, having beaten a couple of Fleetwood defenders for pace.
However, history was made with less than 15 minutes remaining, as Kelechi completed his brace to seal the win for the Foxes.
Iheanacho initially had his second goal ruled out by an offside flag only for the video assistant referee (VAR) to over rule the decision and the 77th minute goal stood.
VAR showed that linesman Lee Betts got it wrong but referee Jon Moss was still able to get it right thanks to modern technology.
Iheanacho even admitted afterwards that he was not sure whether he was onside from Riyad Mahrez’s through ball but was grateful for the decision.
Former Manchester City striker Iheanacho said: “I didn’t know if I’m onside or offside but I think Riyad told me that I was onside, so what I was concentrated on the goal. We just wait if there is a review, we just wait to see what the referee’s decision is.”
The atmosphere of the King Power stadium was so calm as fans curiously waited for the verdict of Referee Jon Moss who had radioed back to base for help. Celebrations then started over a minute – 69 seconds to be precise – after the ball hit the net.
And Kelechi Iheanacho wrote his name in history as the first ever player in England whose goal was decided with the help of VAR technology.
Leicester City boss Claude Puel said he is now a big fan of VAR technology after the latest trial run proved to be a big success and of course helped his side’s passage into the fourth round of the FA Cup.
Puel said: “I think it’s perfect. Of course it was a good thing, good goal and for us it’s a good thing. I think it was not long, there was no time between the goal and the decision.”