U.S. int’l Lichaj brace powers Nottingham Forest past Arsenal in FA Cup

U.S. international Eric Lichaj (pictured) has played for Nottingham Forest since 2013. (Photo: Mexsport)

WEST BRIDGFORD, England – United States international Eric Lichaj scored two goals and Nottingham Forest earned a 4-2 win over defending champion Arsenal in a 2017/18 FA Cup, third-round match on Sunday before 27,182 fans at The City Ground.

It marked the first time that Arsenal was eliminated at this stage of the competition since falling to Sheffield United in 1996.

Lichaj gave Forest leads of 1-0 and 2-1.

His first came in the 20th minute, when he headed Kieran Dowell’s right-sided free kick into the net from one-yard out, darting in front of goalkeeper David Ospina.

Per Mertesacker leveled for Arsenal in the 24th minute, but Lichaj restored the host’s advantage for good in the 44th minute with a brilliant strike.

The Gunners’ attempted clearance from inside their own box only reached the top of the 18-yard box, where Lichaj was positioned to control the ball with his chest and place a plunging, right-footed volley into the upper-left corner.

Ben Brereton (64’ pen) and Dowell (86’) added goals for Nottingham Forest, while Danny Welbeck (79’) netted Arsenal’s second.

Lichaj, a 29-year-old defender, helped the United States capture the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup title, appearing in two games and scoring in the 2-0 quarterfinal win over El Salvador.