Kelechi Iheanacho

Iheanacho At The Double In Rotherham Draw

Kelechi Iheanacho netted a brace as one of two Leicester City squads to feature in a double-header of friendlies on Saturday drew 2-2 with Rotherham United at New York Stadium.
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While Brendan Rodgers' men simultaneously defeated Stoke City 2-1 at bet365 Stadium, Assistant Manager Chris Davies and First Team Coach Kolo Touré oversaw another Foxes squad in South Yorkshire, which included outings for new signing James Justin and England U21s duo Harvey Barnes and Demarai Gray.

With rain falling at a harsh angle, the Foxes nonetheless started brightly with Barnes in particular causing serious issues for Matt Olosunde down the left channel.

Leicester’s first real opportunity of the match led to their opener in the 11th minute as Barnes seized upon a loose ball and slid it into Iheanacho in space.

The Nigerian striker, who opened his account in pre-season during Tuesday’s 3-0 win at Cambridge United, composed himself and drilled it low into the bottom corner.

Iheanacho, 22, was unlucky not to double his tally eight minutes later as Andy King laid it up for him, but Foxes loanee Daniel Iversen, in goal for the hosts, did well to get a leg to it.

Iversen frustrated his parent club again just before the half-hour mark as Gray cut inside his man and fired a low effort on goal – which was stopped again by the Dane’s shin.

With seven minutes to play in the first half, though, the Millers restored parity when Carlton Morris evaded Çağlar Söyüncü, alongside Wes Morgan in the Foxes defence.

After breaking free of the Turkey international’s grasp, Morris, on loan from Premier League side Norwich City, advanced swiftly before slotting it beyond Wales 'keeper Danny Ward.

Following the interval, meanwhile, City were forced into making their first change of the afternoon as Papy Mendy went down, allowing Daniel Amartey to join the action.

Rachid Ghezzal also entered the fray shortly after, replacing Adrien Silva, and Leicester continued to pose an attacking threat as the rain fell in South Yorkshire.

For Rotherham, on the other hand, Kyle Vassell was able to bundle it into the net from close range, but the linesman’s flag was up and the score remained locked level at 1-1.

That was until the 71st minute, however, as Iheanacho restored a slender lead, riding a number of challenges, before beating substitute goalkeeper Lewis Price.

Leicester appeared to be closing in on another pre-season victory, following earlier successes over Scunthorpe United, Cheltenham Town and Cambridge United.

However, the Millers pulled them back once again with 10 minutes remaining as Ben Wiles’ cross ricocheted back off the post and into Michael Ihiekwe, who netted it calmly.

Major moment

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Rotherham and Leicester City line up
Rotherham and Leicester City line up

The Foxes were backed by over 800 supporters, on top of the 1,000 in Stoke, at New York Stadium.

Daniel Iversen’s first-half performance for the Millers ultimately curtailed the Foxes and stopped them from running away with the match while in their ascendency early on at New York Stadium.

The Danish shot-stopper, on loan in Rotherham from City for the upcoming season, continuously denied the likes of Harvey Barnes, Demarai Gray and Kelechi Iheanacho.

In the 39th minute, Iversen made a super stop to prevent Barnes from putting Leicester ahead just seconds after the home side’s first leveller – and it slowed City’s momentum too.

Who impressed?

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Kelechi Iheanacho
Kelechi Iheanacho

Kelechi Iheanacho looks to the travelling Blue Army and celebrates his second goal in South Yorkshire.

While Academy graduate Harvey Barnes was in enterprising and adventurous form at New York Stadium, Kelechi Iheanacho’s goalscoring exploits were impressive.

The 22-year-old was alert to his surroundings to collect the ball from Barnes and net the opener before also staying calm and collected later on to convert his second at Rotherham.

Coming up…

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Christian Fuchs
Christian Fuchs

Austrian left-back Christian Fuchs looks to find Harvey Barnes on the flank.

City next entertain Serie A outfit and UEFA Championship debutants Atalanta at King Power Stadium on Friday evening (7:30pm BST kick-off).

You can watch the whole match live for free on LCFC TV from 7pm BST, while tickets remain available to buy now at tickets.LCFC.com.

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