Teenage striker Evan Ferguson came to the rescue for Brighton & Hove Albion by netting a late equaliser to give his side a 2-2 draw against Leicester City in a pulsating Premier League clash on Saturday.
With his side firmly in the hunt for European football next season and Leicester seeking to snap a run of four straight defeats in the Premier League, substitute Ferguson headed home in the 88th minute to give the visitors a share of the spoils.
Japanese midfielder Kaoru Mitoma broke the deadlock for Brighton in the 27th minute with the kind of goal that is fast becoming his trademark, cutting in from the left and unleashing an unstoppable right-foot shot into the top corner.
After Harvey Barnes and Youri Tielemans had shots blocked, struggling Leicester finally drew level when Marc Albrighton made the most of their best attack of the first half, rifling the ball into the net eight minutes before the break.
Brighton thought they should have had a penalty early in the second half when Danny Welbeck appeared to be brought down by Luke Thomas but their appeals were waved away, with Brighton boss Roberto de Zerbi earning a yellow card for his protests.
The visitors looked set to take the lead again after another slashing run from the wing by Mitoma, but Solly March lost his footing at the crucial moment and ballooned Mitoma’s slick pass harmlessly over the bar with the goal at his mercy.
That miss was punished in the 63rd minute as Barnes popped up at the far post to blast home a corner, putting Leicester 2-1 up and on course for a much-needed victory.
However, Irish 18-year-old Ferguson, who came on for Danny in the 66th minute, had other ideas, heading home in the 88th minute to grab a share of the points for the Seagulls.
“We always have a chance to win in the way we play … we always have belief, so there was not a moment where we think the game is lost and we always have the fighting chance,” Ferguson told the BBC.
The result leaves Brighton in sixth spot in the table on 31 points, two behind fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur and seven behind Newcastle United in fourth. Leicester are 14th on 18 points.
“We put a marker down for the rest of the season in terms of what we have to do, in terms of our fight and mentality,” Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers told the BBC.