Joe Bryan scored a brace as Fulham booked their place in the Premier League next season beating Brentford in the Sky Bet Championship play-off final 2-1 at Wembley Stadium on Tuesday evening.
After a goalless 90 minutes, Bryan opened the scoring with a free-kick from around 45 yards on the stroke of half time in extra time, before he grabbed another three minutes from the end of the game.
Henrik Dalsgaard did pull one back late on for the Bees, however, it wasn’t enough as Fulham won promotion to the Premier League.
The first chance of the game fell the way of Fulham, Josh Onomah did well to hold onto the ball around 25 yards, after running from the half-way line, and despite Ethan Pinnock closed him down he tested David Raya in the Bees net.
Brentford won a free-kick after Ollie Watkins won a header and knocked down for Said Benrahma, who was felled by Michael Hector, however, Bryan Mbeumo fired into the wall.
The first real test for Raya in the Brentford goal came through Onomah, the Fulham midfielder did well as fired an effort from a tight angle, after a lovely reverse pass from Tom Cairney, which forced Raya into making a smart stop.
Rico Henry then produced a cross for Mbeumo whose header from 12-yards failed to trouble Marek Rodak and gave the Slovakian keeper some simple catching practice.
Moments later, a lovely ball from the right was looking for Mbeumo at the back post only for Hector to get an all-important header to clear away.
The first booking of the game arrived when Harrison Reed overran the ball into Christian Norgaard, and the Fulham player went in late on his opposite number and catches the Bees man on the top of his boot.
Lovely play from Fulham as Denis Odoi gets forward down the right, he cuts inside onto his left foot before his 25 yarder is blocked.
Half Time: Brentford 0-0 Fulham
The first chance in the second half fell the way of Fulham after Bobby Decordova-Reid was caught by Rico Henry a yard outside the area, Neeskens Kebano stepped up, but his curling effort hits the side netting.
Fulham came close again with 58 minutes on the clock, Kebano delivered a great ball from the right which found Decordova-Reid, who has Dalsgaard in his way, but his effort goes well wide from 12 yards.
Hector went close for the Cottagers, when he met Bryan’s out swinging corner, under pressure from Marcondes but sends his header wide of Raya’s right-hand post.
Brentford went close after a long ball towards Benrahma was sent behind for a corner off the head of Odoi, Pinnock heads back across goal towards Watkins, who is beaten in the air by Bryan.
Benrahma then won a free-kick for Fulham, which saw Cairney go into the book for a foul, from the free-kick Emiliano Marcondes fired well over leaving Rodak untroubled.
Watkins went close again for Brentford, with Tim Ream slow to close him down, his effort from 25 yards goes over the bar via a smart stop by Rodak, at the other end, Reed tried his luck from distance but his effort goes over.
Brentford went in search for the opening goal of the game with seven minutes remaining, Henry’s cross from the left manages to work it’s way to Dalsgaard on the edge of the area, via a pass from Josh Dasilva, but the defender’s effort goes over the bar.
With five minutes of the ninety remaining, Onomah blazed well over on the half-volley, from 25 yards.
Mathias Jensen was the latest player going into the book for a foul on Anthony Knockaert after he was looking to get away following a great ball from Cairney.
In the first minute of stoppage time at the end of the ninety, Watkins managed to hold the ball up well with Hector all over him, Benrahma takes but the set-piece is a waste as it goes straight out for a goal kick.
Full Time: Brentford 0-0 Fulham
The first chance of the first period of extra time came the way of Brentford, Sergi Canos produced a lovely low ball into the area from the right, just as you thought the net would bulge from Watkins, Hector showed some brilliant defending to keep the Bees out.
Fulham’s first attempt in extra time came when Aboubakar Kamara took aim from out wide following a poor clearance from Raya, but the Brentford defender made a great save to hold on to the Fulham striker’s speculative effort.
Some good piece of play from Brentford, Norgaard found Benrahma inside the area. He found Henry down the left whose low effort found Jensen who saw his effort blocked brilliantly by Hector.
Following a foul on Norgaard, Hector was the latest player to be booked for Fulham, before, Henry manages to get away from Knockaert who is booked for pulling the defender back.
Norgaard was the latest man to have his name taken following a foul on Onomah who looked like he was about to shoot towards goal with Raya out of his ground.
Before the free-kick Mitrovic was booked for deciding to shove Marcondes to the floor, from the set-piece the opening goal of the game arrived.
Bryan around 35 to 40 yards from goal on the left, spots Raya waiting for a cross, whipped the ball inside his near post and goes into the net before the Spanish goalkeeper could react.
Extra Time Half Time: Brentford 0-1 Fulham
The first chance of the second period of extra time goes the way of Marcondes, who took aim from long-range, however, his effort goes well wide.
Brentford went close through Pinnock, who was now a makeshift striker, his powerful effort failed to trouble Rodak, who held onto the ball following his 20-yard effort.
Fulham then punished Brentford for failing to take their chances when the grabbed a second, a neat one-two with Aleksander Mitrovic, puts Bryan through on goal and he coolly tuck the ball under Raya to double Fulham’s lead.
Cavaleiro was then the latest player to be booked following another foul, Marcondes delivered the free-kick, and Dalsgaard was able to head home from close range to give Brentford a consolation goal.
Rodak was booked for trying to get the ball from Dalsgaard to stop the quick re-start.
That was the last meaningful action from the game and Fulham clinched a return to the Premier League.
Josh Onomah: Despite goals coming from Fulham wing-back Joe Bryan, I felt that Onomah produced the same levels that he had done in the semi-finals against Cardiff City and showed the same urgency/energy like he had done during the season and he was key in the final third to give Fulham the edge in winning the game.