The most prestigious prize in sports is in reach, because three teams remain competing at the top of the EFL Championship. The only team remaining is Huddersfield, Sheffield United, and Nottingham Forest can join Fulham and Bournemouth in the next year’s Premier League; the battle to avoid the playoffs is well going. The first slot for the semi-finals has already been reserved by Huddersfield with either Sheffield United or Nottingham Forest joining the team at Wembley on May 29.
The advantage of homefield sees the Terriers through
The first spot in the final was secured thanks to Jordan Rhodes breaking the deadlock in the 82nd minute of the match to secure the victory of 1-0 (2-1 in aggregate) in the final against Luton Town. Sorba Thomas provided the assist after she was introduced during the game in the 60th minute. There’s a little issue in the final because Danny Ward had to be removed before the end of the first half and there’s plenty of space (almost two weeks until the last) for the Terriers’ leading scorer to return.
Things were even after the opening leg, where Daniel Sinani’s strike early on was cancelled out before the break with Sonny Bradley in a tense game in Bedfordshire. Luton were seeking a top flight place that would have marked the end of an the eight-year climb from non-league into the Premier League, it was expected that Luton were to show nervousness at the start of the game. However, they were able to fight Huddersfield throughout both legs until they were unable to keep up during the second leg.
The Terriers thought they were ahead at the time Tom Lees hit the back of the net, but his opportunity was disallowed because of an offside. The dominance of set plays could be a hint of what’s to be to. Ward was substituted with Jordan Rhodes, who knows something or two about scoring in crucial moments. When Sorba Thomas joined the match in the second half, the Terriers had the chance to score more chances, which ultimately led to their win and a place at Wembley. Tuesday will decide if Nottingham Forest will join or whether Sheffield United can come back away from home.
(All times U.S./Eastern)
Friday, May 13
Luton Town 1, Huddersfield Town 1
Saturday, May 14
Sheffield United 1, Nottingham Forest 2
Monday, May 16
Huddersfield Town 1, Luton Town 0
Tuesday, May 17
Nottingham Forest vs. Sheffield United, 2:45 p.m. on ESPN+
Sunday, May 29
Sheffield United/Nottingham Forest vs. Huddersfield, TBD on ESPN+