Tottenham traveled to Rochdale on Sunday with high hopes of reaching the FA Cup quarter finals, but Rochdale's stunning equalizer in the final moments of injury time awarded the home side a well earned replay and a historic trip to Wembley Stadium.
Tottenham traveled to Rochdale on Sunday with high hopes of reaching the FA Cup quarter finals - looking for their first piece of silverware since 2008's League Cup triumph.
Ian Henderson gave Rochdale the lead just before half time and sent shock waves through the Spurs players. Lucas Moura got his first Spurs goal in the 59th, leaving big gun, Dele Alli to earn Tottenham a penalty which Harry Kane finished after the two came on to secure the win. However, Rochdale never gave up and got their Wembley replay after substitute Steve Davis hit the equalizer in injury time.
Mauricio Pochettino fielded a brand new starting 11 combination with a first start for January signing Moura, with Toby Alderweireld and Harry Winks making their second starting appearances since November- Dele Alli and Harry Kane were among the substitutes.
Rochdale went with a similar line up to the team that lost 3-2 to Bristol Rovers midweek, with the only change coming through Scott Wiseman, who was replaced by Harrison McGahey in defense.
The game got off to a flying start with some end to end action from the get go. Rochdale worked the ball well from the back and got close to the Spurs goal line only for the away side to grab possession and make their own break, though both teams were yet to find their gear.
Moussa Sissoko found Son Heung-min in a lovely position just outside the six-yard box early on and you expected the South Korean to finish but his first touch was a bad one and the home fans responded with the first jeer of the day.
McGahey saw the first yellow for a crunching tackle on Harry Winks which saw Victor Wanyama screaming for the red card, though the lack of protest from Winks may have done the defender a favor, with a caution proving sufficient in the end.
Rochdale had looked good for the first twenty minutes with a few decent chances to take the lead not to mention a half decent penalty claim via Alderweireld who looked to slip onto the ball with his hand while attempting to clear, though Bobby Madley waved play on.
Spurs had the best chance of the game so far in the 25th minute after Son squeezed himself around the Rochdale defense, unleashing a shot into the hands of goalkeeper, Josh Lillis. Rochdale scrambled back to defend the move which eventually saw Son, Sissoko and Fernando Llorente all failing to find the back of the net within seconds.
Rochdale really should have got the first goal of the match after a through-ball found Ian Henderson in on goal, leaving the Spurs back line for dead - but the half-volley was well wide in the end and the away fans breathed a sigh of relief, and not for the first time.
Rochdale rocked the Spotland Stadium just before halftime with an excellent team goal after Winks clumsily lost the ball on the half way line. The home side had been excellent throughout the first half and were rewarded through their main man Henderson who picked up a defense splitting pass from Andrew Cannon and the striker couldn't miss.
The second half commenced with no direct changes to either side, though Spurs had moved to a 4-4-2 formation with Son and Llorente now together up top.
Spurs looked to step up their game a little early on into the second half with some positive moves into the Rochdale area though still they proved wasteful in front of goal with a lackluster shot from Winks and an overcooked through ball from Son.
Moura looked to break the hearts of the home fans with the equalizer in the 59th minute with his first goal for his new club. The Brazilian had looked the most likely to make a difference and didn't disappoint after he was played through on goal as the Rochdale defense backed off a little too much. A laced shot left the goalkeeper with no chance and the away support took their turn to feel relieved as their team found themselves back in the tie.
Wanyama missed the opportunity to give Spurs the lead soon after the equalizer via a cross from Kieran Trippier ended up at his feet, just inside the six yard box. Rochdale's keeper was nowhere to be seen but the pressure from Ryan Delany forced the midfielder to poke the ball just over the crossbar.
Kane got the second for Spurs after Alli was brought down in the area by McGahey, both players coming on in the second half for Moura and Llorente, respectively. The England international smashed his effort low, leaving the keeper with no chance for the second time of the night. The hopes of a Wembley replay looked to be over as Danny Rose shouted out Ryan Mason into the pitch side camera, Mason retiring from professional football this week after a head injury, but the action was not over yet.
A poor clearance from Alderweireld found substitute, Steve Davis, with ball and the goal gaping.
The forward leaped at his chance and smashed the ball into the bottom corner and the home side got their Wembley replay in the end.