Fulham is headed back to the Premier League after they beat Brentford in the English League Championship on Tuesday, August 4. Joe Bryan scored two outrageous goals in extra time to help Fulham promoted and secure the win.
Fulham led the game with 51% ball possession and attempted 14 shots while six were on target. They received a total of seven yellow cards with 14 fouls. On the other hand, Brentford tried more SOG with 16, but only four were on target, and they received only two yellow cards with 11 fouls.
Joe Bryan Scores Both Goals in Extra Time
Joe Bryan, the man of the match, scored both of his goals in extra time to seal their victory. The game went to extra time as both teams were scoreless after the second half. His long-range free-kick from 40 yards out caught Brentford by surprise in the 105th minute. It looked like Bryan was serving it up to a teammate, but the ball went straight into the net as Brentford goalkeeper David Raya was too slow to react. Bryan scored another one in the 117th minute of the 2-1 triumph. Brentford scored in the 124th minute, but it was too late for them to change the outcome, and Fulham was crowned champions.
For Bryan, the two goals in the championship were just his third and fourth scores in more than 70 matches with Fulham. During his post-game interview, he mentioned that he is not a hero and praised everyone on the team from his teammates to the staff for making it an unbelievable season for the team. He also stayed humble by applauding his opponents for being a great team and not taking anything for granted.
Scott Parker Says the First Goal was Planned
Fulham manager Scott Parker noted that “the opening goal was planned.” He analyzed David Raya’s positioning during free kicks and figured out that he was very aggressive. Hence, he called Bryan and told him to keep on eye on his positioning and go for the goal. It worked perfectly, giving them a crucial lead. Parker was lauded for the call and tactical plays he laid out for the team.
Misery for Brentford
Unlike Fulham, who have been promoted to the Premier League after one year, Brentford is staring at next season in England’s second-tier football league. After Brentford beat Swansea in the semifinals, they were confident and ready to head on to the topflight league. They even had their most potent forward lineup, Said Benrahma, Bryan Mbeumo, and Ollie Watkins, expecting goals before extra time. However, the team’s heavy touches and reduced clearances broke their chance.
Brentford manager Thomas Frank vowed that the team would return even stronger next season. “There have been some good examples in the past with teams coming back even stronger,” he told Sky Sports. “With this club, I am 100 percent sure we are coming back event stronger.”
Despite his goalkeeper’s error that cost them a goal, Frank did not blame David Raya for the loss and instead praised and thanked him for being a fantastic goalie through the season. He also praised his opponent and Joe Bryan for his excellent performance. Frank promises to come back stronger next season.