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Vicarage Road Stadium (ATT 16,142) 12th May 2013 - Kick off 12:30 Ref: M Oliver

Watford Watford vs Leicester City Leicester

Watford (3) 3

M Vydra (15, 65)
T Deeney (90+7)

ft

Leicester (2) 1

D Nugent (19)

Sky Sports 2 HD

Troy Deeney scored late on as Watford reached the Championship play-off final with a 3-2 aggregate win over Leicester

Last Updated: 12/05/13 5:13pm

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Watford: Celebrate their win

Watford: Celebrate their win

Troy Deeney scored deep into stoppage as Watford reached the Championship play-off final in the most dramatic of circumstances with a 3-2 aggregate win over Leicester at Vicarage Road.

The Hornets' promotion hopes looked over when, 60 seconds earlier, Leicester were awarded a penalty.

But Manuel Almunia pulled off a stunning double save to keep out Anthony Knockaert's spot-kick, and also the rebound.

And as Watford broke up the other end the ball fell to Deeney in the penalty area to crash into an empty net and spark wild scenes of celebration.

Hornets boss Gianfranco Zola was sent tumbling to the turf as jubilant players, staff and fans charged on to the pitch.

Watford trailed 1-0 from the first leg and twice levelled the tie on aggregate through Matej Vydra, either side of David Nugent's header.

And after Deeney's amazing winner Zola's side will now face Brighton or Crystal Palace for a place in the Barclays Premier League on Monday, May 27.

Vydra had not scored in his last 12 games but ended his drought in sensational style in the 15th minute.

Marco Cassetti chipped the ball over the top and Vydra, on the run, let it drop over his shoulder before crashing a superb angled volley across Kasper Schmeichel and into the net.

That levelled the tie on aggregate but Leicester got their noses back in front just four minutes later, Nugent out-jumping Lloyd Doyley at the far post to nod in Matty James' corner.

The Foxes could have had another moments later but Knockaert skied his effort.

Watford piled forward after the interval with Cristian Battocchio tip-toeing through a couple of challenges on the edge of the box before shooting just wide.

Then Vydra's lay-off gave Almen Abdi an opportunity 15 yards out but his drive also flew the wrong side of the post.

The goal they desperately needed came in the 65th minute when Vydra played a neat one-two with Deeney just inside the area and sidefooted his second past Schmeichel.

Deeney had the ball in the net with 12 minutes remaining after running on to Vydra's through-ball but an offside flag curtailed his celebrations.

But with extra time looming Cassetti nudged Knockaert to the ground in the area and referee Michael Oliver pointed to the spot.

Knockaert was already celebrating in front of Leicester's fans but that proved premature when Almunia saved his penalty with his legs and got up in time to parry the rebound.

And as if that was not dramatic enough, Watford charged back upfield and moments later Jonathan Hogg's header back across goal was touched on by Vydra and Deeney gleefully slammed in the winner.

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Matches

Table

Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Derby County 18 35
2 Bournemouth 18 32
3 Middlesbrough 18 32
4 Ipswich Town 18 31
5 Brentford 18 31
6 Blackburn Rovers 18 30
7 Watford 18 29
8 Nottingham Forest 18 28
9 Charlton Athletic 18 28
10 Norwich City 18 27
11 Wolverhampton Wanderers 18 27
12 Cardiff City 18 26
13 Sheffield Wednesday 18 22
14 Huddersfield Town 18 21
15 Reading 18 21
16 Leeds United 18 20
17 Fulham 18 19
18 Millwall 18 19
19 Birmingham City 18 19
20 Brighton and Hove Albion 18 18
21 Bolton Wanderers 18 18
22 Rotherham United 18 18
23 Wigan Athletic 18 17
24 Blackpool 18 8

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