FA Cup: Harry Kane makes Leicester pay penalty as Spurs live to fight another day
Tottenham 2 - Leicester 2
So much for resting players in the FA Cup. Having been given a break following a draining Premier League campaign, Harry Kane ultimately climbed off the substitutes' bench to earn a replay which only adds to his and Tottenham's workload.
The England forward's 89th-minute penalty, after referee Robert Madley had punished Nathan Dyer for flicking a hand at the ball while challenging Danny Rose, ensures Spurs will face Leicester for the third time in 10 days when they meet again in a replay a week tomorrow.
Kane may feel as though he had been promised a half-day only to be told he must now do some overtime to pay for it, but the celebrations at the end suggested that Spurs retain the ambition to end their 25-year wait to win the cup once again.
"We are alive and have another chance to play," manager Mauricio Pochettino said. "Another game is tough for us, but also for them. We just must be strong in the mind.
"In football, you try and never give up and it is important to stay in the competition."
Fortune may have smiled on Spurs with the awarding of the penalty, but Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri refused to blame Madley for the decision.
"I didn't see it, but the most important thing is that the referee sees it and gives it," Ranieri said. "We had eight players who had not been playing for some time, but now they played and they deserved a positive result - 2-2 is a positive result."
With the clubs separated by four points in the top four, and a Premier League encounter looming at White Hart Lane on Wednesday evening, only the staunchest cup traditionalists would have expected Pochettino and Ranieri to do anything but make wholesale changes.
But while Pochettino left the likes of Kane, Dele Alli and Erik Lamela on the bench, the Spurs manager retained the creativity of Christian Eriksen in the heart of his midfield and the Dane was the home team's outstanding player, before and after opening the scoring.
It was a goal which Leicester should have prevented, with poor defending creating the space for Nacer Chadli to cross from the left. Chadli's cross took a deflection off a Leicester shin which deceived goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, who could only push the ball towards the feet of Eriksen, who was lurking unmarked, 12 yards out to score.
Marcin Wasilewski equalised with a powerful header five minutes later. The goal lifted Leicester and their fringe players began to gain confidence, with the 19-year-old left-back Ben Chilwell impressing on only his second senior appearance.
Within three minutes of the restart, Shinji Okazaki had given Leicester the lead after breaking through the Spurs defence to prod the ball beyond goalkeeper Michel Vorm.
Pochettino threw on Kane and Alli in the closing stages but the game appeared lost for the home side until Madley pointed to the spot. And Kane did what he does best to earn the replay that neither team really wanted.