Iheanacho’s late strike edges Leicester closer to Champions berth

Sports Desk, Apr 26 (EFE).- Kelechi Iheanacho fired a remarkable left-footed shot into the upper right corner of the goal 10 minutes before the end of regulation to give Leicester City a 2-1 victory Monday over Crystal Palace and edge the Foxes closer to a Champions League berth next season.

Just eight days after scoring the goal that secured a berth for Leicester in the FA Cup final, the Nigerian forward proved unstoppable once again in late-season Premier League action at King Power Stadium.

Iheanacho, who has now scored five goals in the Foxes’ last four matches, was the offensive catalyst from the beginning against Palace.

He nearly helped open the scoring in the third minute of the game with a through ball to Jamie Vardy that Palace goalkeeper Vicente Guaita did well to thwart.

Leicester then found themselves behind on the scoreboard in the 12th minute, when Wilfried Zaha received a pass from midfielder Eberechi Eze and scored past net minder Kasper Schmeichel.

It was the sixth goal of Zaha’s career against the Foxes, more than he has scored against any other Premier League side.

A bland stretch then ensued in which Leicester monopolized possession but were unable to create any clear goal-scoring chances over the remainder of the first half.

That changed after the intermission thanks to Iheanacho, who gained possession of a long pass from Youri Tielemans and left the ball for an onrushing Timothy Castagne to power into the net in the 50th minute.

Palace nearly retook the lead five minutes later on a breakaway opportunity, but an outstanding defensive effort by Leicester’s Jonny Evans miraculously broke up a golden scoring opportunity for Christian Benteke.

Iheanacho then made Palace pay dearly in the 80th minute when he received a long pass from Evans, maneuvered to his left and blasted the winner well out of the reach of Guaita.

With the victory, third-place Leicester (62 points) have consolidated their position in the Premier League standings and are now four points ahead of Chelsea and seven points and eight points clear of West Ham United and Liverpool, respectively, with five games remaining in the season.

First-place Manchester City have already wrapped up one of the four Champions League spots in the Premier League. Second-place Manchester United have all but clinched their berth, and the Foxes now are getting close to securing one of their own. EFE


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