Following his effort against the Eagles, the striker becomes the third Nigerian to score on his birthday in Premier League history
Kelechi Iheanacho has become the third Nigerian in Premier League history to score on his birthday having found the net in Leicester City’s 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace.Named in the Foxes’ starting XI for the first time in the 2021-22 campaign, the former Manchester City prodigy put Brendan Rodgers’ side ahead in the 31st minute.The 25-year-old capitalised on a heavy touch by defender Joachim Andersen, headed for goal before slotting it into the bottom left corner of Vicente Guaita's goal.
With that, he joined former Super Eagles stars Austin Okocha and Obafemi Martins as players from the West African country to find the net on their birthday.Ex-Bolton Wanderers captain Okocha became the first Nigeria to achieve this feat on August 14, 2004. Celebrating his 31st birthday, the midfielder got a brace as the Trotters defeated Alan Curbishley’s Charlton Athletic 4-1 at home.
Four years later, former Inter Milan star Martins matched this feat during his spell at Newcastle United.On his 24th birthday, the speedy forward registered his name among the goalscorers after he was assisted by Habib Beye as the Magpies secured a 2-1 triumph over West Bromwich Albion.
Despite Iheanacho’s effort, Rodgers’ men threw away a two-goal lead to allow the Eagles to pick up a point through goals from Michael Olise and Jeffrey Schlupp.
Subsequently, he was substituted for James Maddison in the 71st minute.
Speaking after the game, Leicester manager Rodgers is satisfied with the outcome at Selhurst Park while pointing out areas his team would work on in subsequent matches.
"I thought a point was what we deserved from the game," the Northern Irishman told LCFC TV.
"We didn’t defend well enough, not strong enough, and that’s the reality. We had a couple of chances and took them really, really well, but it was a point that we deserved.
"In both the first and second half, we didn’t keep the ball well enough. It was certainly nowhere near the level that we would like to.
“We’re normally a team that enjoys having the ball but there were too many loose passes and we gave the ball away too much.”
Iheanacho is expected to join the Nigeria national team for the 2022 Fifa World Cup qualification games against the Central African Republic next week.