Terriers hold their nerve in Wembley shootout
Huddersfield Town 0 Reading 0 (Huddersfield won 4-3 on pens)Huddersfield are back in the top flight after 45 years, clinching Premier League football and a Â£170m windfall by beating Reading on penalties in the Championship play-off final.
Few backed these sides to be challenging for promotion at the start of the campaign, with David Wagner’s men considered to be in for a relegation fight as the Royals started anew under Jaap Stam.
Both teams have had memorable campaigns but Reading’s has ended in heartache, whereas Huddersfield can look forward to life in the Premier League after securing a 4-3 penalty shootout triumph after 120 goalless minutes at Wembley.
The Terriers faced an uphill battle after fans’ favourite Michael Hefele missed his spot-kick, only for Liam Moore to blaze over and Danny Ward – the shootout hero in the semi-final at Sheffield Wednesday – to save Jordan Obita’s penalty.
Christopher Schindler stepped up to send Huddersfield into the top flight for the first time since 1972, leading to wild celebrations on the field and in the stands.
It could have been so much easier had Hefele and Izzy Brown not wasted early opportunities as a breathless start made way for a forgettable final.
However, Huddersfield will not care a jot after winning the shootout and writing an exciting new chapter in their history.
The Terriers’ penalty hero Schindler put the club’s victory down to the effort put in over the whole season.
The German converted the final spot-kick to seal a 4-3 penalty success after the game had finished 0-0 at the end of extra time.
Schindler said: “It’s unbelievable.
“We put so much effort into the whole season. I think we deserved it and the feeling is unbelievable now.”
He said of his decisive contribution: “The heart rate was pretty high. I think nobody is 100 per cent comfortable taking a penalty.
“I’m so happy that I’m here with this wonderful team. I think we are going to have a party now.”