Huddersfield a step closer to Premier League
LONDON: Huddersfield goalkeeper Danny Ward sent his side into the Championship playoff final with two crucial saves in a dramatic penalty shootout victory over Sheffield Wednesday.
David Wagner’s team fell behind to Steven Fletcher’s goal early in the second half at Hillsborough, but they hit back to grab a deserved equaliser through Tom Lees’ own goal.
With neither side able to win it in extra time, it took penalties to settle a tense semi-final second leg and Ward was the Huddersfield hero as his saves from Sam Hutchinson and Fernando Forestieri clinched a 4-3 triumph.
Chasing a return to the topflight after a 45-year absence, Huddersfield will face Reading at Wembley on May 29 with a lucrative place in the Premier League up for grabs.
“It’s an amazing feeling. This team are a special bunch, and it stems back to the backroom staff. It’s a special club,” Huddersfield captain Tommy Smith said.
“It’s been an unbelievable season and this is an incredible feeling. Why can’t we go on and win at Wembley?”
Wednesday could have few complaints after being outplayed for long periods, but their second successive season of playoff heartache after last year’s final loss to Hull might trigger the dismissal of already under-fire boss Carlos Carvalhal. AFP