Foxes Firsts: A Dreaded Penalty Shootout
On 27 September, 1972, in the Texaco Cup, Len Glover scored in the 56th minute and put City ahead. He’d romped past two defenders, ran the length of the pitch and placed the ball in the back of the net. Dundee United – rejuvenated, had no other option than to apply pressure on City’s goal.
Indeed, in the 71st minute, Peter Shilton’s net bulged. The scores were level. The game went into extra-time.
Frank Worthington restored Leicester's lead and seemingly put the game to bed. But Dundee still clung on. And then: drama. In the dying seconds of extra-time, Shilton bought down an orange shirt in the box. United had a lifeline. The scores drew level once again.
This time, and with the clock showing 120 minutes, there would be no extra football to play. The match, for the first time in City’s history, went to sudden death.
Keith Weller was successful from the spot for the Foxes.
We watch behind our fingers – or, not at all – with bated breath and a heart-rate we’d only normally reach in the middle of intense exercise. But in 1970, when the FA introduced the shootout to resolve cup games that had reached deadlock, the experience became even more intense.
For the first time in the Club's history, the result of a shootout would override all the good, bad and ugly football played beforehand.
Keith Weller stepped up to the spot, held his nerve and slotted home City’s first penalty in a shootout. Shilton kept Dundee United at bay for the return. Worthington put away the second. Shilton kept the Scottish team out again. Glover converted the third, and Dundee United had to score to keep themselves in the running. Shilton ensured they didn’t.
Agony for the Scottish fans, ecstasy for the Foxes. A gripping end to a match that saw Leicester reign superior in their first-ever penalty shootout.
It hasn’t been all glory ever since, but the penalty shootout has certainly made for thrilling entertainment for the neutral over the years.
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