Hull City have secured automatic promotion to the English Premier League alongside Cardiff City in one of the most incredible finishes ever to a final day of the nPower Championship.
Before today’s matches kicked off, both Watford and Hull City were hoping to secure automatic promotion. Hull needed a win against Watford to guarantee promotion. Watford needed a
win, too draw.
Before the match kicked off, Watford were dealt a blow when goalkeeper Manuel Almunia suffering an injury. The Hornets were dealt a further blow when their second-string goalkeeper was stretchered off the pitch in the first half after a Leeds United footballer pushed a Watford player into the goalkeeper’s path. Due to the injury, the referee added 16 minutes of injury time on to the first half.
During the matches, the pendulum swung from one side to another — with Watford looking like they would be promoted if the scores stayed the same, only for Hull City to get an equalizer against Cardiff, which swung the pendulum to the Tigers. The pendulum continued to swing throughout the match until the 92nd minute. At that point Hull City were leading 2-1 and looked certain to gain promotion when they were awarded a penalty kick. Before the kick was taken, the Hull City fans invaded the pitch thinking that they had won the match.
After the fans were cleared off the pitch by police and stewards, Hull City took the spot kick but Cardiff City saved it. The Bluebirds then rushed up the pitch and quickly got a penalty after Abdoulaye Faye handled the ball in the area. Cardiff stepped up to take the kick and scored.
At that moment, the goal meant that Watford would be promoted if the scores stayed the same. Due to the 16 minutes of injury time in the first half, Hull City players moved to their tunnel to watch the closing minutes of the Watford-Leeds game, knowing that only a Leeds United win would secure them automatic promotion.
And then the unthinkable happened for Watford supporters. Leeds United broke on a counter attack and managed to get into a goalscoring opportunity and chipped the ball over the head of Watford’s third-string goalkeeper — 19-year-old Jack Bonham — who failed to stop the shot with his hands, only for the ball to go trickling into the back of the net.
Leeds United held on to the slim margin and won the match, which meant that Hull City — who had automatic promotion, only for it to be taken away from them, and then regained it — were promoted as runners-up in the Championship.
Congratulations to Hull City on promotion to the Premier League on an emotional day that will never be forgotten by many.