Well, this is heartwarming. On the final day of the npower Championship regular season, second-place Hull City was playing Cardiff City, who had already won the league and promotion to the English Premier League. The way the Championship works is the top two teams are automatically promoted, while the third through sixth-place teams battle it out in a postseason tournament, and the winner of that playoff is promoted, as well. But as we know here in America, playoffs are scary and unpredictable, so given the option, it's better to bypass them altogether. Hull would be promoted with a win. If Hull lost or drew, they'd need third-place Watford to lose or draw to midtable side Leeds to go up on the day. Watford and Leeds were playing at the same time.
After a ridiculous game, Hull was up 2-1 in the fourth minute of stoppage time when a Cardiff player fouled a Hull player in the box. Forward Nick Proschwitz stepped up to take the penalty kick to send his side through, but Hull fans were so ecstatic that dozens stormed the pitch. They had to be shepherded off, and Proschwitz missed the ensuing kick. No matter, right? The match was basically over.
Seconds later, though, Hull defender Abdoulaye Faye handled the ball in his own box to give Cardiff a penalty to tie the score with almost no time remaining on the clock. Cardiff forward Nicky Maynard didn't miss his chance on the ensuing penalty, though, and pulled Cardiff level. When the whistle blew, the teams had drawn 2-2, and Hull needed Leeds to beat Watford to advance.
The last day in the Championship is always the best day, so while the Hull match was playing out, Watford and Leeds had their own drama to sort out. Watford had the stronger of the two squads, but in the first half, their goalkeeper Jonathan Bond was injured badly in a sickening collision. He had to get stretchered off the pitch with a neck brace and an oxygen mask. Enter Watford's third-string keeper Jack Bonham, who had never played a professional match.
Both teams scored just before halftime to make it 1-1, but the match got worse for Watford when forward Troy Deeney was sent off in the second half, leaving Watford to play for 30 minutes with 10 men. But also, because of time added on following the red card and the Bond injury, Hull finished their match before Watford and were allowed to nervously watch the last 10 minutes of the Watford game from the locker room.
The game was in the balance, and a Watford goal would send Hull to the playoffs. In the 90th minute, though, Leeds forward Ross McCormack shook free and chipped Watford's keeper to put Leeds ahead, 2-1, and send the onlooking Hull players into hysterics. A few minutes later, the ref blew his whistle, and Hull celebrated again. Just another final match day in the Championship.
And that guy kissing and Kaepernicking in front of the camera? That's Ahmed Elmohamady. Looks like we have a new favorite player in the Premier League next season.
h/t to Will