Liverpool hits back to get FA Cup draw at fourth-tier Exeter
ABS-CBN Sports on Jan 09, 2016 10:39 AM
Liverpool's manager Juergen Klopp, second left, celebrates with his players after their 2-2 draw against West Bromwich Albion during the English Premier League soccer match between Liverpool and West Bromwich Albion at Anfield Stadium, Liverpool, England, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2015. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
EXETER, England (AP) — Brad Smith scored for Liverpool in the 73rd minute as the English Premier League side twice hit back to draw 2-2 with fourth-tier Exeter in the FA Cup on Friday.
Liverpool has never lost to fourth-tier opposition but it was just 17 minutes away from making unwanted history.
Tom Nichols put Exeter ahead in the ninth minute and despite Jerome Sinclair's equalizer three minutes later, the hosts retook the lead on half-time through Lee Holmes. Smith then got the second equalizer for Juergen Klopp's side.
"It's obvious what we have to learn in the future," Klopp said to the BBC. "We have to be more robust. It was a difficult pitch. Exeter did really well. Maybe they know which part of the pitch you can play football. It was really difficult for us. On one-on-one situations they were more robust than our guys."
Klopp selected a side that had 17 changes from the League Cup semifinal victory at Stoke on Tuesday against a side 76 places beneath them.
Exeter went ahead when Nichols stretched for a low pass across goal from Jamie Reid and poked the ball into the bottom corner.
Liverpool was level three minutes later when Exeter did not clear the ball and Sinclair steered it low past goalkeeper Robert Olejnik.
Christian Ribeiro headed wide when unmarked for Exeter who retook the lead on halftime when Holmes scored direct from a corner after Liverpool goalkeeper Adam Bogdan misjudged the flight of the ball.
Olejnik pushed a firm header from Christian Benteke over the bar and Liverpool equalized again when Smith hit a first-time shot into the net.