WALSALL, England: Kelechi Iheanacho spared Leicester City from a potential FA Cup giant-killing as his second-half goal saw the Foxes beat fourth-tier Walsall 1-0 and progress to the fifth round on Saturday (Jan 28), while Leeds advanced with a 3-0 win over Accrington Stanley.
Leicester, who beat fourth-tier strugglers Gillingham by a single Iheanacho goal last time out, faced a stern test from a hard-working, high-energy Walsall side eager to shut out their top-flight opposition.
It took 30 minutes for the Foxes to get a shot on target, and a frustrating afternoon was made worse as Belgian midfielder Youri Tielemans’ powerful effort from the penalty spot struck the post after Patson Daka was fouled inside the box.
But second-half substitute Iheanacho rescued Leicester’s afternoon when his effort from the edge of the box took a wicked deflection off the back of Walsall defender Brandon Comley, turning it into a curling, dipping ball that proved too much for the goalkeeper to handle.
Walsall boss Michael Flynn engineered a shock win over Leicester when he was Newport County manager, but his side’s late fightback this time was unsuccessful.
Fellow Premier League side Leeds United beat lower-division opposition in Saturday’s other early game as they triumphed 3-1 over Accrington Stanley to reach the fifth round for the first time since 2016.
Jack Harrison put Leeds ahead with a spectacular long-range strike, guiding his first-time effort into the bottom right corner.
Junior Firpo and Luis Sinesterra then each scored within two minutes of each other in the second half to put Jesse Marsch’s men on course for victory.
Leslie Adekoya, 18, pulled one back for Accrington in the 81st minute only seconds after coming off the bench, but it proved to be nothing more than a consolation strike.
Later in the FA Cup on Saturday, Manchester United host Reading and Tottenham travel to Preston North End.