Huddersfield Town will play in the Premier League for the first time after coming through a penalty shootout against Reading - after a forgettable 0-0 draw in normal time, the Terriers took the shootout 4-3 with Danny Ward the hero after a stunning save to deny Jordan Obita.
You would have got long odds in August on the playoff final being between these two sides and both sets of supporters created a memorable atmosphere. Huddersfield made a very fast start and had the first chance of the game just 5 minutes in. Michael Heffle was left unmarked at a free kick and should have hit the target from six yards with his header.
CONGRATULATIONS, Huddersfield Town! pic.twitter.com/EPkNPWXBcn— Premier League (@premierleague) May 29, 2017
An even bigger chance would follow for the Terriers, a driving run from Tommy Smith gave Izzy Brown the chance to score and from three yards out it seemed harder to miss than score. Reading had barely touched the ball in the opening 10 minutes but went close through a long-range effort from Lewis Grabban.
Huddersfield continued to press but Reading defended well and restricted the visitors to long range efforts at goal. Reading were also struggling to break down the opposition defence, with John Swift hitting a free kick that went tamely wide. The Royals will have been much the happier side to get in at half-time at 0-0.
Reading had a much better tempo after half-time and had the first chance after the interval as Yann Kemorgant fired over from a corner. In truth, the second half was a nervous affair with neither side wanting to risk losing the game.
Both sides had chances, for Reading a superb cross from Kemorgant couldn't be converted by Grabban while Huddersfield's best chance was a shot wide from Collin Quaner.
Huddersfield were dealt a major blow as captain Tommy Smith was taken off injured. The injury meant eight minutes of additional time were played and Reading went close in that period as Chris Gunter headed over a Gareth McCleary cross. Nahki Wells had the final effort of normal time, a long range effort saved by Al Habsi meaning that the Championship Play-off Final would be decided by extra time for the first time since 2013.
With both league matches ending 1-0 to the home side, it was perhaps no surprise that an extra 30 minutes was required. Despite both sides making changes during the first period of the extra time, the game remained tight and tense. The closest either side went in a forgettable 15 minutes was an effort from McCleary. The Reading sub had worked an opening on the edge of the area but fired wide. The Royals enjoyed more possession and at this stage looked the more fitter of the two sides.
The second-half of the extra period remained tense but with four minutes to go, Huddersfield had the best chance of extra-time - Wells was free 10 yards from goal but his effort was a tired one and Al Habsi wasn't troubled. It was the first ever 0-0 draw in a Championship Playoff final and the first that went to penalties since 2002.
With Reading leading the shoot-out 2-1,