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Huddersfield Edge Reading On Penalties, Gain Promotion To EPL

Huddersfield Edge Reading On Penalties, Gain Promotion To EPL

 

By James Agberebi:

Huddersfield Town have won promotion to the English Premier League after defeating Reading 4-3 in a dramatic penalty shootout in the English Football League Championship play-off final at Wembley Stadium on Mondayafter regulation time ended 0-0.

Despite trailing 3-1 during the shootout, Reading, managed by Manchester United great Jaap Stam, lost their last two kicks while Huddersfield converted theirs to secure the final ticket to the EPL.

The win means Huddersfield, who finished 19th in the Championship in 2015/2016 are back into English top flight after a 45-year absence.

They now join Newcastle United and Brighton as the three teams promoted to the EPL.

Huddersfield Town edged the early exchanges and should taken the lead in the fifth minute only for Michael Hefele to head Aaron Mooy's free-kick wide.

Huddersfield continued to boss the game and had the best chance in the 10th minute but Isaiah Brown somehow failed to hit the target from close range off Elias Kachunga's cross.

A minute later Lewis Grabban almost gave Reading the lead against the run of play as he hit a curler from 20 yards which went narrowly wide.

On the stroke of half time, Hefele was on hand to glance Yann Kermorgant's cross away for a corner.

Three minutes into the second half, Reading had a big chance to take the lead through John Swift but his goal bound shot from range came off Danny Ward.

In the 55th minute, Reading had another chance but Kermorgant's acrobatic effort from Joey Van Sen Berg's deep free-kick, went over the bar.

With 14 minutes left, Huddersfield were denied the opening goal as substitute Collins Quaner fired wide off Mooy's cutback.

The game was halted on 86 minutes following an injury to Tom Smith who was then replaced by Martin Cranie.

In the 92nd minute Reading broke and almost snatched the winner but Chris Gunter's header from Garath McCleary's cross went inches over the bar.

Late into the first period of extra-time, McCleary should have given Reading the lead but his left-foot strike was dragged wide.

In the 116th minute of extra-time, Kasey Palmer was left unmarked inside the box but his low shot narrowly went wide.

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