Semi-final hero Kelechi Iheanacho wants to help Leicester to first FA Cup win
Semi-final hero Kelechi Iheanacho is determined to help Leicester to their first ever FA Cup triumph.
Brendan Rodgers’ side will face Chelsea on May 15 at Wembley after deservedly beating below-par Southampton in Sunday’s semi-final.
Iheanacho scored early in the second half to secure a 1-0 win under the arch, with the Foxes now dreaming of a first FA Cup victory, having reached the final for the first time since 1969.
“It’s really amazing, it’s a dream come true,” Leicester’s matchwinner told LCFC TV. “I didn’t know it’s going to come like this, but we are in the final now, so we are really happy.
▪️ Creating history for the Foxes▪️ Finishing a 'beautiful' goal▪️ Playing in front of spectators ▪️ Focusing on our next games— Leicester City (@LCFC) April 19, 2021
“We need to get back and work hard and focus on our next game. Hopefully, the final, we’ll really work hard to make sure we win.
“It’s a beautiful goal. As I said before, the partnership between me and Vards (Jamie Vardy), it’s outstanding. His running off the ball, it’s really good.
“He took the defenders on and he cut it back. I was unlucky with the first shot. It bounced off the defender and came back to me, and I picked the corner.
“I’m really happy we did it together as a team.”
The beauty of Iheanacho’s goal is debatable but the importance of it certainly is not, with a few Leicester fans fortunate enough to be at Wembley to witness it.
Wembley is blue 🔵#EmiratesFACuppic.twitter.com/hzZvCb1dTl— Emirates FA Cup (@EmiratesFACup) April 18, 2021
There was a 4,000-strong crowd at Sunday’s semi-final, doubled up as one of the government’s pilot events, with 21,000 expected for the May finale.
“It’s really amazing,” Iheanacho added. “Hearing the supporters when I came out for the warm-up, the supporters shouted, and it was really good.
“It was a good feeling to see them back in the stadium again. When we are playing, you can hear them screaming and shouting.”
While Leicester can look forward to a potentially historic end to the season, Saints are reflecting on a meek semi-final exit.
Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men failed to muster a shot on target on Sunday and Southampton skipper James Ward-Prowse said it felt like a “strange occasion”.
“Yeah, it’s disappointing, of course,” the midfielder said. “Growing up you dream of games like this and obviously playing in a final. But it wasn’t to be today.
“If we’re honest with ourselves we didn’t create enough to win the game. We didn’t have that bit of conviction in the final third.
“That’s the most disappointing part. I can’t fault the effort. It was just that final bit that was missing for us today.
“Games are won and lost in those defensive thirds and we lacked that final pass. If you look at their goal, if the shot goes wide it’s a goal kick and we carry on.
“They forced their own luck and it just didn’t fall for us today.
“It’s a great occasion to be involved in and all of us will come away from here stronger, looking to finish the season strongly.
“You could tell in the early moments of the game, it was quite nervy. Everyone was making little mistakes. It felt like a strange occasion.
“It’s been a terrific run for us, but of course there is that little bit of regret and disappointment that we couldn’t overcome this hurdle.
“We’ve got seven games to go and there’s still a lot to play for. We want to finish as high as we can. That’s the mentality of the manager and the team as well.”
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