Friday, May 19, 2023

Sheffield Wednesday Wins Greatest Comeback in EFL Playoff History

I don't write about Sheffield Wednesday very often. While I watch highlight videos, follow Twitter for updates during games, and listen to the Owls Americast podcast, I haven't watched a live Wednesday game in about a year. That changed over the last week as I watched two Wednesday-Peterborough United playoff matches.

A quick summary of English football for those who don't follow. You know what, I'll let the first episode of Welcome to Wrexham explain. (Warning: One bad word in the video.)

Sheffield Wednesday has been around since 1867 with a long history of playing in England's top league. They were actually a founding member of the Premier League in 1992 but got relegated after the 1999-2000 season. That's when I was first introduced to the team though I probably didn't start following them closely until about a decade ago. Wednesday haven't been to the Premier League since 2000 and were relegated from the Championship division to League One (the third division) following the 2020-2021 season. The way English Football works is that the top two teams during the season earn an automatic promotion. Then, the teams finishing 3rd through 6th compete in the playoffs with the winner also going up. Wednesday finished 3rd this season meaning that they played a two-game series against 6th place Peterborough United. Peterborough won the first game last Friday 4-0 in an awful game. So to advance to the final at Wembley Stadium for a chance to move up to Championship League, all Sheffield Wednesday had to do was come back from a four-goal deficit. No team had ever been down more than two goals after the first leg and advanced, but to quote Jim Carrey, so you're telling me there's a chance. 

And then this happened:

Incredible. I don't think I've been this excited about a game and celebrated so much after a goal (in this case Liam Palmer's goal at the end of regulation) since the US-Algeria 2010 World Cup match.

I should probably mention that I almost predicted the result. I published this tweet several hours before the game.

When Peterborough scored in extra time, I figured, yeah, this is just like Wednesday. Get our hopes up and lose in the worst way possible. Fortunately, the team came through and won an amazing game.

Now, Wednesday will play at Wembley Stadium at 10:00 AM Eastern time on Memorial Day. I'll be watching!

Here's a little more about the game from the BBC and ESPN. Sheffield Wednesday also posted an extended video of highlights of the match. I may watch this all weekend long!

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