Nigerian striker Kelechi Iheanacho became the first player to score a goal awarded by Video Assistant Referee in English football as Leicester City beat Fleetwood in an FA Cup third-round replay, AOIFootball.com can report.
Iheanacho opened scoring with a routine strike from Islam Slimani’s pass in the 43rd minute to put the foxes up, his second goal for the club since his big money move in the summer.
However the big talking point of the game came when the former Manchester City striker initially had a goal disallowed for offside from a Rihad Mahrez’s through ball.
But referee Jonathan Moss liaised with video official Mike Jones, who told him Nathan Pond’s trailing foot was keeping Iheanacho onside, and the goal was awarded 68 seconds after it hit the back of the net.
This is the third time the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) has been used as a trial in English football, all this month, after Brighton v Crystal Palace in the FA Cup and Chelsea v Arsenal in the Carabao Cup.
The video referee was consulted in both those games, but never used to reverse a decision. So 16th January 2018 and the first VAR decision becomes a landmark date for English football.
John Moss had briefly spoken to the video official when Iheanacho had an earlier goal ruled out because the ball had crossed the by-line before Demarai Gray crossed it.
And he consulted him again after disallowing a second goal by the Nigerian for offside. But this time Jones decided correctly that Pond was actually keeping him onside, a decision that was easily missed in real time by the officials.
The Nigerian is also the first player to be introduced as a fourth substitute in a game in England, after he was introduced in the FA cup semi-final against Arsenal at Wembley last season.