Soccer-Brentford fight back to set up Championship playoff final v Swansea

·2-min read
Championship Play-Off Semi Final Second Leg - Brentford v AFC Bournemouth

LONDON (Reuters) -Brentford fought back from a goal down to beat 10-man Bournemouth 3-1 in their Championship playoff semi-final second leg on Saturday and return to the final for the second year in a row.

The Bees will face Swansea in the final at Wembley on May 29, after the Welsh side squeaked past Barnsley 2-1 on aggregate following a 1-1 draw later on Saturday.

Brentford, who lost the first leg of their semi 1-0, conceded an early goal before taking advantage when Bournemouth's Chris Mepham was sent off in the first half to go through 3-2 on aggregate, with 4,000 supporters cheering them on.

"It's crazy and you can see what it means to all of us. The fans made a massive difference. They are the 12th man and it'll give us a great chance in the final," Brentford striker Ivan Toney told Sky Sports.

Bournemouth took an early lead when Cameron Carter-Vickers cleared a Brentford corner, allowing Arnaut Danjuma to race away from inside his own half to slip the ball past goalkeeper David Martin.

The lead was short-lived, however, after Lloyd Kelly conceded a penalty when the ball struck his arm while trying to block a cross and the Championship's leading scorer Toney beat Asmir Begovic from the spot for his 32nd goal of the season.

Bournemouth were reduced to 10 men when Mepham, a former Brentford player, was shown a straight red card for hauling down Bryan Mbeumo. The Brentford forward was through on goal after capitalising on Mepham's error to pinch the ball from the defender.

Vitaly Janelt levelled the aggregate score five minutes after the restart, and Brentford took the lead for the first time in the tie in the 81st minute when substitute Marcus Forss stuck his leg out to divert a cross into the net from point-blank range.

After Swansea won the first leg of their semi-final 1-0 away at Oakwell earlier this week, skipper Matt Grimes doubled their advantage at home in the 39th minute, curling the ball into the top corner.

Cauley Woodrow then levelled for Barnsley in the 71st minute to set up a frantic finish, with Swansea pinned back in their own half throughout the closing minutes as they held on for a place in the final.

"It wasn't the prettiest game but we got the job done and dug in at the end," Grimes told Sky Sports.

"It means the world to me (to score), but to get us to Wembley and the chance of promotion is what it was all about."

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru and Hugh Lawson; editing by Ed Osmond)

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