Izzet holds his nerve to end resistance of 10-man Leeds

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The Independent Football

A game that promised so much, with Leeds involved on four fronts and Leicester with such a strong recent record in the Worthington Cup, ultimately proved to be a disappointment of the highest order. Leicester were eventually victorious 4-2 on penalties, after Muzzy Izzet coolly slotted home from the spot, and will play Fulham in the quarter-finals.

A game that promised so much, with Leeds involved on four fronts and Leicester with such a strong recent record in the Worthington Cup, ultimately proved to be a disappointment of the highest order. Leicester were eventually victorious 4-2 on penalties, after Muzzy Izzet coolly slotted home from the spot, and will play Fulham in the quarter-finals.

While both sides proved their obduracy in defence, with Leeds now not conceding a goal for the fourth consecutive game, such was the paucity of both attacks that neither goalkeeper was forced into serious work. Even when Leeds were reduced to 10 men by the sending-off of their captain Lucas Radebe with 90 minutes up, for his second yellow card after a foul on Emile Heskey, Leicester still struggled to break down the Premiership leaders. In fact it was Leeds' Harry Kewell who came closest to breaking the deadlock in extra-time when his shot from a tight angle forced Tim Flowers to tip the ball over the crossbar.

Both teams appeared to be paying the price for last weekend's FA Cup exertions but it was Leicester who almost stole the game with two minutes of normal time remaining, when Matt Elliott's header from Stefan Oakes' free-kick was cleared off the line by Matthew Jones. From the ensuing corner Steve Walsh's effort was blocked by Radebe six yards out.

As befits the team at the top of the Premiership and playing in their third cup tie of one description or another in seven days, Leeds dominated the first half. Not that they had it all their own way, with Heskey a constant and dangerous presence.

Leeds' interpassing was far slicker than their hosts, yet they only threatened Flowers, in the Leicester goal, twice before half-time. The first came after 11 minutes when the wing-back Gary Kelly tried his luck from 25 yards, but Flowers saved. The second, after 25 minutes, came as Michael Bridges scooped a pass over the Leicester defence only for Kewell to head fractions wide.

Martin O'Neill, the Leicester manager, had a depleted side as he was without Steve Guppy, one of his most influential players, who is nursing a knee injury. Frank Sinclair was another injured absentee. To add insult to the injury list, the midfielder Neil Lennon had to come off after 15 minutes.

David O'Leary, O'Neill's counterpart, was able to recall David Batty for his first match since November, the England midfielder having apparently recovered from his Achilles injury. However, it proved a pointless exercise, as Batty too was forced off early with an injury.

Heskey's pace appeared to be the main route through Leeds, and after 22 minutes his shot flew past Nigel Martyn's post, then eight minutes later, Walsh sent a header flashing wide from another Oakes free-kick.

Both sides tried to break the deadlock after the interval and with barely a minute gone, Ian Harte chipped his pass into the penalty box but Bridges' first touch let him down, forcing him wide.

A minute later Leicester went close when Robbie Savage's cross was met by Theo Zagorakis, but his volley was off target. Yet it was Leeds who still promised greater things, and from Harte's 50-yard pass with 52 minutes gone, Kewell found the space to lob the goalkeeper but his effort cleared the crossbar as well.

Leicester City (3-5-2): Flowers; Taggart, Walsh, Elliott; Oakes, Izzett, Lennon (Zagorakis, 15) Savage, Impey; Cottee (Gunnlaugsson, f-t), Heskey. Substitutes not used: Arphexad (gk), Gilchrist, Campbell.

Leeds United (4-4-2): Martyn; Radebe, Woodgate, Harte, Kelly; Batty (Jones, 21) Bowyer, Bakke, McPhail; Kewell, Bridges (Duberry, f-t). Substitutes not used: Huckerby, Robinson (gk), Mills.

Referee: G Barber (Tring).

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