Championship: Huddersfield Book Place In Premier League After Dramatic Shoot-Out Win Over Reading (Photos & Video)

Alan Duffy

29th, May 2017


Huddersfield made it six play-off penalty shoot-out wins out of six as the Terriers booked their place in the Premier League for the first time ever after a dour Championship Play-Off final against Reading at Wembley.

The Terriers started brightly and should’ve taken the lead on five minutes, only for Michael Hefele to head wide from Aaron Mooy’s free-kick.

The Terriers continued to press high and thwart Reading’s possession game and soon had another chance to go ahead. Izzy Brown was the culprit this time, somehow missing from point-blank range after great work from Tommy Smith and Elias Kachunga.

Reading started to find their feet as the half progressed, however it would end without either side managing to test the goalkeeper.

The second-half would see Huddersfield start strongly again, with Chris Lowe registering the first shot on target of the game.

However, the second-half would ultimately fail to produce the quality needed for a breakthrough.

In extra-time, the two weary sides battled hard and at the death, Nakhi Wells had a very good chance to seal it for Huddersfield, only to fire wide when he really should have done better.

And so to the penalty shoot-out!

Veteran French attacker Yann Kermorgant converted the first spot-kick before Chris Lowe made it 1-1.

Danny Williams then coolly stroked the ball home to put the Royals 2-1 up.

The first miss of the shoot-out went to Michael Hefele, with the Huddersfield defender’s long and nervy run-up culminating in a weak spot-kick which was easily saved by Premier League veteran Ali Al-Habsi.

Sub Liam Kelly lashed home his penalty to make it 3-1 as the Royals looked set for a top-flight return.

However, Nahki Wells kept the Terriers in the game, firing home to make it 3-2 to Reading.

Next up was ex-Leicester defender Liam Moore, who blazed over.

Aaron Mooy then levelled the shoot-out at 3-3 before Jordan Obita saw his nervy effort saved by Danny Ward, leaving Huddersfield one spot-kick away from glory.

One of the best players on the pitch during the 120 minutes, Christopher Schindler, duly stepped up to fire Huddersfield back into the top-flight for the first time since 1972.

In an incredible achievement for David Wagner, the Terriers will become the 49th different side to play in the Premier League, something no-one would have predicted last August.

As for Reading boss Jaap Stam, he too can look back on a campaign where his side exceeded expectations, although the blow of losing while within touching distance of the Premier League will take some time to get over.