Leicester’s late comeback surprises PSV and puts the Foxes in the Europa Conference semi-finals
Ricardo Pereira’s dramatic late goal sent the plucky Leicester through to the Europa Conference League semi-finals after stunning PSV.
The defender’s goal with two minutes remaining completed a brilliant turnaround to seal a 2-1 win in Eindhoven in the quarter-final second leg that night.
James Maddison had leveled the tie with 13 minutes remaining after a mistake by Youri Tielemans allowed Eran Zahavi to score a first-half opener.
The foxes meet Bodo/Glimt or Roma in the last four after reaching the semi-finals of a European competition for the first time in their history.
After last week’s 0-0 first-leg draw at Leicester, manager Brendan Rodgers felt PSV would be more open at home and the Foxes were happy early on but were reminded of the hosts’ threat after 14 minutes.
Philipp Max stormed down the left and crossed to free-standing Mario Götze for a volley, which Kasper Schmeichel brilliantly turned around.
It was clear it was going to be a lot more open than the first leg and Leicester should have taken the lead two minutes later when Harvey Barnes missed a good chance.
Kelechi Iheanacho’s pass sent the forward on target, but with Andre Ramalho for company, he rolled his tame shot a yard wide.
It was to prove costly as after Schmeichel saved from Joey Veerman, Leicester self-destructed after 27 minutes to give PSV the lead.
Tielemans’ poor pass fell straight for Götze and he shot around the area before feeding Zahavi. The striker found space and drilled an oblique drive over Schmeichel into the corner.
Leicester were sloppy at both ends when it mattered but they were more than equal to PSV, with Tielemans’ error being the only real difference.
The Foxes remained undaunted and could have equalized after 33 minutes when Maddison’s drive found Ramalho and rolled over Yvon Mvogo, only for Jordan Teze to acrobaticly clear the line.
Chances came and went as Timothy Castagne shot wide and Maddison shot over, while the Foxes continued to prove they could find chances.
With 45 minutes to salvage their European hopes, Rodgers sent Ademola Lookman and Patson Daka for Barnes and Marc Albrighton at the break as he rolled the dice to make the last four.
However, PSV initially looked more likely to add a second as Veerman’s low shot went wide and Tielemans created a chance for Cody Gakpo and Zahavi who went over the goal.
But Leicester spurned their own glorious opening just after the hour when Lookman played through Daka and the striker drilled wide from the edge of the area.
Mvogo turned Maddison’s feeble try wide soon after and the Foxes survived a major scare as Ibrahim Sangare, found by Gakpo, held off Castagne but shot over the goal.
But Rodgers’ men had picked up steam, with Maddison at heart, and they equalized with 13 minutes remaining.
Substitute Ayoze Perez fought his way to the touchline and showed excellent awareness to single out Maddison, who swept past Mvogo from 12 yards out.
Leicester could feel victory and after Mvogo Perez denied victory they stunned the Philips Stadion with a winner two minutes from time.
Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall slipped into Lookman and he crossed for Daka whose shot was parried by Mvogo, the ball running free for Pereira to fire the rebound and send the Foxes into dreamland.
https://www.independent.ie/sport/soccer/other-soccer/late-leicester-comeback-stuns-psv-and-sees-foxes-into-europa-conference-semi-finals-41555206.html Leicester’s late comeback surprises PSV and puts the Foxes in the Europa Conference semi-finals