Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino happy to still be in the FA Cup after draw at Rochdale
PUBLISHED: 13:00 19 February 2018
PA Wire/PA Images
Keith Hill’s team equalised in stoppage time to force a replay at Wembley set to take place on February 28
Mauricio Pochettino felt Rochdale deserved to hold Tottenham Hotspur to a 2-2 draw in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Sunday afternoon.
Spurs appeared to be heading for the quarter-finals when Harry Kane scored from the penalty spot in the 88th minute.
It put Tottenham 2-1 up after Lucas Moura had netted on his debut to cancel out Ian Henderson’s first-half opener.
There was still time for late drama at Spotland Stadium though, with substitute Steven Davies firing home in the third minute of stoppage time to set up a replay for the League One strugglers at Wembley.
Before the game a lot of pre-match talk surrounded the poor surface at Dale, but the Greater Manchester club had a new pitch relayed for the game and Pochettino said: “The pitch was good, very good.
“I’m happy because I think it was a great game and I think the pitch helped to make that for both teams. We are not complaining because they deserved to go and play at Wembley. I think after Harry scored, we all believed the tie was won.
“The good news is we are alive after a difficult day. Now we have to move forward. We have another opportunity to get to the quarter-final.”
Rochdale boss Keith Hill praised the effort of his players after more than holding their own against a side which drew 2-2 with Juventus just a few days earlier.
Davies’ late leveller sparked wild scenes and the two clubs will do battle all over again next week with the rematch set to take place on February 28.
Hill added: “The performance deserved at least the opportunity to go to Wembley in a replay. I thought the first half was magnificent, especially the way we took the game to them.
“It could have been football suicide, but for us to score the goal and go in 1-0 at half-time was tremendous - a marvellous feeling for those players.
“Then for us to get that late equaliser - wow - that was raw emotion, not just from me, but from the players, staff and supporters.”
Additional reporting by Press Association Sport.