Soccer

Fulham beat Brentford to join Leeds and West Brom in securing Premier League promotion

Fulham beat Brentford 2-1 in the Championship play-off final to secure promotion to the Premier League thanks to Joe Bryan’s stunning brace at Wembley. The Whites join Leeds and West Brom in the top flight next season.

Fulham and Brentford both fell just short of automatic promotion during the regular season.

The west London sides were separated by goal difference in the Championship table.

After Fulham beat Cardiff and Brentford beat Swansea in the play-off semi-finals, the London clubs faced off at Wembley on Tuesday night in the game worth around £160m.

After a relatively quiet 90 minutes, the clash went to extra time, with the game looking destined to end in a penalty shootout.

However, Fulham left-back Bryan had other ideas.

The defender, with the clock on 105 minutes, stood over a free kick around 35 yards out, was expected to swing a cross into the box.

However, Bryan saw David Raya had left too much space to his right and fired his effort past the Brentford keeper.

Bryan sprinted towards Scott Parker and the Fulham bench after his wonder stike had lit up Wembley.

The 26-year-old then took matters into his own hands once again and doubled Fulham’s lead in the second half of extra time.

After a slick one-two with Aleksandar Mitrovic, Bryan slipped the ball past Raya once again.

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Parker urged his side to remain focused and see out the biggest game of their season.

However, Fulham suffered a late scare with Henrik Dalsgaard pulling a goal back in the third minute of added time.

It turned out to be a consolation for the Bees, with Fulham holding on to secure the win.

Fulham join Leeds and West Brom in securing promotion to the Premier League for next season.

Bryan remained humble after the final whistle, despite his Wembley heroics.

He said: “I’m not the hero, every single one of them, fans and people around us who has been with us all season is.

“We’ve been written off five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10 times, I think I read somewhere we were supposed to be scared of them.

“We took it to them, we scored twice, they made it hard for us but they’re a good team and they’ve been playing really well.

“I can’t believe we made it straight back up.”

On his stunning free-kick, he added: “Scott told me to whip it near post, that was for my dad, he used to give me the eyes when he made me go in goal.”

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