Thursday 24 September, 2020

Reggae Boyz Hector and Reid help Fulham gain promotion to EPL

Jamaica international Bobby Decordova-Reid of Fulham shoots during the English Championship Play Off football final against Brentford, at Wembley Stadium, in London, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. (Mike Egerton/PA via AP).

Jamaica international Bobby Decordova-Reid of Fulham shoots during the English Championship Play Off football final against Brentford, at Wembley Stadium, in London, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. (Mike Egerton/PA via AP).

Jamaica international footballers Bobby Decordova-Reid and Michael Hector will play in the English Premier League (EPL) next season after Fulham on Tuesday secured an instant return to England's top flight competition after one season in the Championship.

Fulham received promotion by beating west London rival Brentford 2-1 in the Championship playoff final and the Reggae Boyz were in the starting eleven.

Both Reid and Hector were born in England but chose to represent Jamaica at international level. Hector was selected in the Reggae Boyz squad for the 2015 Copa America.  Reid made his debut for the Reggae Boyz on September 6, 2019 against Antigua and Barbuda in the Concacaf Nations League.

In the Championship final, the day belonged to Joe Bryan, who scored twice in extra time at Wembley to give Fulham the win in what is widely called the most lucrative game in football. Fulham will receive at least 135 million pounds ($176 million) over three years after securing promotion, a year after being relegated from the world's richest football league.

Fulham owner Shahid Khan failed with a bid to buy Wembley a year ago, and his team had to celebrate in an empty stadium on Tuesday due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Bryan broke the deadlock after catching goalkeeper David Raya by surprise with a free kick from nearly 35 yards in the 105th minute as both teams expected a cross into the box.

“The goalkeeper comes ridiculously far off his line,” Bryan said.

The left back netted again in the 117th minute after playing a one-two with Aleksandar Mitrovic to clinch promotion in Scott Parker's first full season in charge of Fulham.

Brentford, which boasted a 59-goal strike force in Said Benrahma, Bryan Mbeumo and Ollie Watkins, was kept in check in the most important match of the season.

Henrik Dalsgaard's header in the third minute of stoppage time was too late for Brentford, which were trying to return to the top division after a 73-year absence.

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