Rochdale net in stoppage time to earn Wembley replay with Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup fifth-round
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FA Cup fifth-round: Rochdale 2 Tottenham Hotspur 2
A stoppage time goal from Rochdale’s Steven Davies earned the League One strugglers an FA Cup fifth-round replay at Wembley Stadium after holding Spurs to a 2-2 draw at Spotland Stadium.
Dale had the lead at half time, but Tottenham Hotspur turned things around with Lucas Moura netting on his debut and Harry Kane scoring from the penalty spot after coming on as a substitute.
With time running out, Rochdale produced one final attack and it proved critical as substitute Davies equalised late on to spark wild scenes and force a rematch, which will be confirmed at a later date.
Mauricio Pochettino made 11 changes to the Spurs team which fought back impressively from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Juventus in Turin on Tuesday.
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Toby Alderweireld started while Moura was handed his full debut and up front was Fernando Llorente.
After a quiet start to proceedings, Spurs survived a very fair penalty shout in the 16th minute when Andy Cannon dribbled into the area and Alderweireld tumbled.
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The Tottenham defender did handle the ball after falling to the ground, but it did seem accidental and appeals were waved away by referee Bobby Madley.
Dale threatened again two minutes later when Victor Wanyama was disposed by Cannon, but Ian Henderson could only fire straight at Michel Vorm from inside the area.
It was a good chance wasted and Spurs stepped it up soon after and created their first opportunity in the 22nd minute.
Heung-min Son cut inside and let fly from 12-yards, but Harrison McGahey blocked well and the resulting corner came to nothing.
Four minutes later and Tottenham attacked again and this time they should have made the breakthrough.
Son was involved again as he was played through on goal, but Josh Lillis saved to his left, Moussa Sissoko latched onto the loose ball though and teed up Llorente, who made half a yard, yet could only steer wide from 16-yards.
Pochettino would have been encouraged by Spurs’ response and three minutes later they threatened again, but Moura blazed over.
The Brazilian had been lively at Spotland and looked impressive whenever he had got on possession, though with half an hour played, it remained goalless.
With the Lilywhites gradually getting on top, Keith Hill’s team reminded the visitors of their capabilities in the 32nd minute when Callum Camps clipped the ball forward for Henderson, but he sliced well wide when he had more time than he realised.
Dale, despite their lowly position in League One, were more than holding their own and also playing with an eye-catching style of football, but as half time approached it was still 0-0 in Great Manchester.
That all changed in the 45th minute though, when Winks was caught in possession and Rochdale broke at speed.
In the space of a few seconds, Cannon had teed up Henderson and the home captain swept the ball past Vorm from inside the penalty area to spark jubilant scenes from the Dale supporters.
The half time whistle followed moments later and Hill’s team were 45 minutes away from a famous cup upset.
It took Spurs until the 54th minute to test Lillis, but Winks’ long-range effort was easy for the home custodian.
Slowly but surely Tottenham were improving and forcing Rochdale into a number of late challenges.
They had yet to create a genuine chance of note in the second period though, but that changed just before the hour mark.
Son and Sissoko combined and the latter picked out Moura inside the area and he fired past Lillis to level the scores and net his first Spurs goal in the process.
Pochettino made a change three minutes later, introducing Erik Lamela for Winks, which saw Sissoko drop back to partner Wanyama in the centre of midfield.
After dropping off slightly, Tottenham made another substitution with 18 minutes left when the Moura made way after a decent debut.
Dele Alli came on in his place and seconds later Wanyama almost put Spurs ahead, but his effort, off his knee, flew over the crossbar from close range.
Tottenham were beginning to increase the tempo and pressure now and Rochdale nearly fell behind when Alli nutmegged McGahey, but Mark Kitching got across to block his effort in the 74th minute.
Big cheers were heard from the away end two minutes later, it wasn’t for a goal, but for the introduction of Harry Kane for Llorente.
Spurs continued to press and went so close to scoring in the 82nd minute when Son ran at the Rochdale defence, played in Alli and his backheel set up Lamela, but his deflected effort was cleared off the line by Jimmy McNulty.
There were plenty of home players with tired legs as Tottenham moved the ball around with pace in the closing exchanges at Spotland.
Sissoko tested Lillis in the 86th minute after Lamela’s free kick had been cleared, but it was easy for the Rochdale custodian.
Less than 60 seconds later and Tottenham attacked again and the weary bodies of the Dale players proved costly.
Rose and Lamela combined impressively with the latter having a shot deflected which dropped for Alli in the area, McGahey dived in and brought the England midfielder down and Madley pointed to the spot.
Substitute Kane stepped up and fired into the corner to put Spurs within touching distance of the quarter-finals.
Four minutes of stoppage time were added on with the home players and fans hoping for some late drama.
With 92 minutes played, it happened when a cross into the area fell for substitute Davies and he drilled past Vorm to spark wild scenes at Spotland.
The final few seconds were played out without any more drama to ensure Rochdale secured a famous replay at Wembley.
It is another game for Spurs, one they don’t need, but for Dale’s players and their supporters, it will be the stuff of dreams when the rematch takes place later this month.
Rochdale: Lillis; McGahey, McNulty (Inman 89), Delaney; Rafferty (Rathbone 80), Cannon, Camps, Kitching, Done; Humphrys (Davies 75), Henderson.
Unused substitutes: Moore, Ntlhe, Thompson, Adshead.
Tottenham Hotspur: Vorm; Trippier, Foyth, Alderweireld, Rose; Wanyama, Winks (Lamela 62); Moura (Alli 72), Sissoko, Son; Llorente (Kane 76).
Unused substitutes: Gazzaniga, Sanchez, Dier, Walker-Peters.