Leicester 1-1 West Brom (7-6 on penalties): Foxes into Premier League Asia Trophy final after shootout win
By Charlotte Marsh
Last Updated: 19/07/17 4:17pm
Leicester went through to the Premier League Asia Trophy final after beating West Brom 7-6 in a penalty shootout following a 1-1 draw.
Jay Rodriguez (10) put his new side ahead in stunning fashion at the Hong Kong tournament - live on Sky Sports Premier League - smashing home his first Baggies goal since his £15m move from Southampton before Riyad Mahrez (24) scored a fine reply with his own future still uncertain.
After a goalless second period that saw plenty of changes from both sides, the game went to a penalty shootout using the new 'ABBA' system, with spot-kick order taking inspiration from a tennis tie-breaker.
West Brom took the first spot kick, followed by two from Leicester then another two from the Baggies, with Marc Albrighton converting the winning effort to send the Foxes to the July 22 final.
It took ten minutes for West Brom to take the lead after a strong start and it was a fantastic effort from Rodriguez. Jake Livermore slid through his new team-mate who found himself in space at the top of the box, allowing him to thump home a curling effort past Ben Hamer.
The Foxes levelled up 14 minutes later with another fine strike from Mahrez, who shone during the match. A poor chip from Matt Phillps landed at the feet of the Algerian, allowing him to power towards the box through a sea of West Brom shirts before coolly slotting home.
Leicester could have gone into half-time with a lead as they continued to test the Baggies defence. Islam Slimani went close twice before Mahrez nearly nicked another goal on the stroke of half-time, but Ben Foster read the danger well to turn his dinked effort around the post.
In a strange move for a pre-season match, Tony Pulis did not make any half-time substitutions - not doing so until the 52nd minute - while Leicester had an entirely different set of outfield players by the third minute of the second half.
Once again though, the Foxes wasted a golden chance to take the lead on the hour mark as a long free kick found Jamie Vardy in acres of space near the right-hand corner of the box and he looked to have the net at his mercy, but some late pressure from Jonny Evans saw him skew his shot across the face of goal and out wide.
West Brom's best effort from the second period came from a 65th minute free kick courtesy of Nacer Chadli, who scooped the set piece over the wall but Hamer read it well and made a strong save to deny the Baggies another goal.
With the game drawn at full-time, the trial ABBA system was called upon and though both sides were finding the back of the net, young Baggies midfielder Sam Field saw his effort saved by Hamer, with Albrighton taking advantage to see Craig Shakespeare's side through to Saturday's final.
Man of the match - Riyad Mahrez
While his future at Leicester remains very much undecided, it did not stop Mahrez putting in 100 per cent effort during the Premier League Asia Trophy match.
There were plenty of early skills and tricks from the Algerian as he tried to bamboozle the West Brom defence and showed no fear as he surged towards packed boxes, especially in the build-up to his goal.
He could have added a few more to his tally and also played provider, slotting in Shinji Okazaki and Islam Slimani but had no control over some good Baggies defending and questionable finishing from his team-mates.
Whether it was advertising himself to suitors or wanting to put his all in for the Leicester shirt, it was a joy to see Mahrez in full flow and back to his Premier League-winning best.
Leicester will face Liverpool in the Premier League Asia Trophy final on Saturday 22 July while West Brom will meet Crystal Palace for the third and fourth spots.
It's then back to the UK with Leicester scheduled for a friendly against Luton on July 26 while West Brom face Burton and Walsall also on the same day.