Sunderland secured their place in the League one Play-Off final at Wembley after their victory against Sheffield Wednesday.
A frantic and nervy match from both sides saw them level at the break. However, Lee Gregory put Wednesday level on aggregate in the second half before Patrick Roberts booked the black cats a place at Wembley in the dying embers of the match.
Alex Neil named an unchanged side going into the game with the black cats ahead on aggregate after Ross Stewart scored at the Stadium of Light last Friday.
Wednesday, being behind on aggregate going into the match, had the home advantage – with added physiological advantage knowing they had beaten Sunderland 3-0 the last time the two sides met back in November.
The first chance fell to Wednesday when Marvin Johnson put a cross into the box for Gregory who volleyed the ball towards goal but was blocked by defender Bailey Wright.
Sunderland’s Danny Batth headed the ball from an Alex Pritchard free-kick but went over the cross bar in the 25th minute.
Wednesday’s best chance of the half came from George Byers who tried an acrobatic overhead kick which was caught comfortably by Anthony Patterson in the 35th minute.
Although, Wednesday had the majority of the chances. Neither team imposed themselves onto the game, struggling to capitalise on chances with it often being a cagey, scrappy affair.
In the second half, Sunderland had a few chances to increase their lead. With Jack Clarke’s low driven shot going just wide of the post and Roberts shot being caught by the keeper.
The warning signs were there, but the black cats struggled to get out of their own half with multiple chances from Wednesday with Josh Windass and Sam Hutchinson having to force Patterson to make a save.
The goal eventually came for Wednesday, in the 75th minute, when Barry Bannan played a lovely ball through to Johnson who delivered a low driven cross to Gregory to bring it back level on aggregate.
Sunderland didn’t rest and pushed to get the winner, which eventually came in stoppage time, in the 93rd minute when Clarke’s excellent run saw him set up Roberts who tucked the ball into the bottom corner to send Alex Neil’s side into the play-off final.