Leicester strike late to stun PSV in Europa Conference League quarter-final


Ricardo Pereira’s spectacular late strike sent brave Leicester into the semi-finals of the Europa Conference League after knocking out PSV.

The defender’s goal two minutes from time completed a brilliant turnaround to seal a 2-1 victory on the night at Eindhoven in their quarter-final second leg.

James Maddison had equalized 13 minutes from time after Youri Tielemans’ error allowed Eran Zahavi to open the scoring in the first half.

The Foxes will face Roma in the last four after reaching the semi-finals of European competition for the first time in their history.

After last week’s 0-0 draw at Leicester, boss Brendan Rodgers felt PSV would be more open at home and the Foxes found some early joy but recalled the hosts’ threat after 14 minutes.

Philipp Max scampered down the left and crossed for the unmarked Mario Gotze to hit a volley that Kasper Schmeichel returned brilliantly.

It was clear it would be much more open than the first leg and Leicester should have gone ahead two minutes later when Harvey Barnes missed a great chance.

Kelechi Iheanacho’s pass sent the striker running towards goal but, with Andre Ramalho for company, he rolled his tame shot a yard wide.

This was to prove costly as, after Schmeichel saved from Joey Veerman, Leicester self-destructed after 27 minutes to give PSV the lead.

Eran Zahavi scores for PSV

Eran Zahavi opened the scoring for PSV (Peter Dejong/AP)

Tielemans’ bad pass fell directly on Gotze and he raced towards the box before feeding Zahavi. The striker found space and drilled an oblique drive through Schmeichel in the corner.

Leicester had been sloppy when it mattered most, at both ends, but they were more than evenly matched at PSV, with Tielemans’ error being the only real difference.

The Foxes remained fearless and could have equalized after 33 minutes when Maddison’s drive hit Ramalho and looped over Yvon Mvogo, only for Jordan Teze to acrobatically clear the line.

The odds came and went, with Timothy Castagne heading wide and Maddison firing as the Foxes continued to prove they would find openings.

With 45 minutes to salvage their European hopes, Rodgers dispatched Ademola Lookman and Patson Daka for Barnes and Marc Albrighton on the break as he rolled the dice to reach the last four.

PSV, however, initially looked the most likely to add a second, with Veerman’s weak training fizzling, Tielemans offering a chance for Cody Gakpo and Zahavi to head towards him.

famous leicester

Leicester celebrated a late winner in Eindhoven (Peter Dejong/AP)

But Leicester pushed back their own glorious opener to the level just after the hour Lookman played Daka and the striker drilled away from the edge of the area.

Mvogo converted Maddison’s weak effort soon after and the Foxes survived a huge scare when Ibrahim Sangare, found by Gakpo, held Castagne back but fired over the top.

Still, Rodgers’ men had gained momentum, with Maddison at heart, and they equalized with 13 minutes remaining.

Substitute Ayoze Perez made his way to the touchline and showed excellent awareness to choose Maddison, who swept Mvogo from 12 yards out.

Head-to-head Leicester could smell victory and, after Mvogo had denied Perez, they stunned the Philips Stadium with a winner two minutes from time.

Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall slipped Lookman and he crossed for Daka, whose shot was parried by Mvogo with the loose ball for Pereira to fire into the rebound and send the Foxes to dreamland.

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