Of all the risks taken in the FA Cup in the name of keeping players fresh it always felt like an extreme selection to throw in Michel Vorm.
The 36-year-old Dutch goalkeeper had not played in a competitive fixture of any kind since October 2018.
He had not started a game for even longer but Vorm was recalled against Norwich as Jose Mourinho gave Paulo Gazzaniga a breather in a competition he had set his sights firmly upon winning.
Gazzaniga has not been faultless during Mourinho’s time at Spurs but Hugo Lloris was still out injured and when Vorm’s mistake presented Norwich with a late equaliser it did not seem like such a clever move.
Vorm was only able to pat down a ferocious strike from distance by Kenny McLean straight to the feet of Josip Drmic who reacted quickly and bundled the rebound into the net in the 78th minute.
It was no more than Norwich deserved and the cue for a breathless closing phase of normal time during which Ben Godfrey produced a stunning block on his own goal line to deny Serge Aurier and then a frenzied period of extra-time.
Penalties presented the chance for Vorm to redeem himself but it was the Dutch ‘keeper in the Norwich team who emerged as the hero.
Tim Krul has well-deserved reputation as an expert when it comes to saving penalties and it was enhanced at White Hart Lane.
Krul saved from teenager Troy Parrott and new signing Gedson Fernandes, and Erik Lamela hit the bar.
Norwich go into the last eight of the FA Cup for the first time since 1992 and will be at home against the winners of Thursday's tie between Derby and Manchester United.
Daniel Farke’s team celebrated with nine thousand of their fans in the away end.
They had gone behind early, to a header by Jan Vertonghen which seemed to be a personal redemption for a player who had been hauled off with less than an hour gone in the fourth round replay against Southampton.
Tottenham opened brightly with Giovani Lo Celso deployed further forward in support of Dele Alli and hugely influential in the early stages of the tie.
He started with a miscued effort which brought hoots of derision from more than nine thousand supporters in the away end but Lo Celso’s next effort forced the first save of the night from Tim Krul.
Steven Bergwijn and Lucas Moura split open the Norwich defence before Moura rolled a perfect pass to Lo Celso and Krul stuck out his right leg to keep out his low shot. Spurs were at their most dangerous when they broke out at speed.
Lo Celso delivered the free-kick for Vertonghen’s goal, an out-swinger from the left flank which tempted Krul to shuffle from his line as if the idea of coming out to claim the cross went through his mind.
In fact, the keeper retreated to his goal line and Vertonghen slipped away from Mario Vrancic and climbed about Jamal Lewis to find the net with a powerful header.
Norwich found their stride and started to cause Tottenham problems. Emi Buendia jinked into the penalty area and forced Vorm into action.
It was the Spurs goalkeeper’s first appearance since he came off the bench after Lloris was shown a red card in a Champions League tie at PSV Eindhoven and he first start for 533 days, when he played in a 2-1 defeat at Inter Milan.
Since then, he has been released and resigned and he escaped with a heart-in-mouth error when he fumbled a fierce drive from distance by Lukas Rupp in the first half. There were similarities to the costly mistake by Liverpool’s Adrian which led to a goal at Chelsea on Tuesday expect fortune favoured Vorm.
The ball slithered from his grasp but spun away from goal rather than towards it and gave him the chance to recover.
Norwich pushed for an equaliser. Eric Dier blocked another effort, this time from Vrancic before Spurs were gifted an opportunity to stretch their lead in the closing seconds of the first half.
Tom Trybull played Vrancic into trouble inside his own penalty box and Moura stepped in to win the ball. The Brazilian, playing with a bloodied nose after an accidental clash with Todd Cantwell, was denied by Krul who charged from his line to close him down.
The visitors continued to push forward with purpose after the interval. Vrancic drew another save from Vorm and then went close with a curling free-kick.
Mourinho sent on Gedson Fernandes in an attempt to bolster his midfield and protect the lead. Gedson, signed in January from Benfica, quickly forced a save from Krul but was unable to ease the anxiety at the other end.
Norwich continued to pepper Vorm’s goal until Drmic found the equaliser and Krul stepped forward as he always does in the penalty shootout.