Leicester miss 95th-minute penalty, Watford counter & score winner | inside World Soccer

Watford booked their place in the Championship Playoff final after a dramatic injury time winner over Leicester City on Sunday afternoon.

Watford players celebrate after winning the Championship Playoff Semi Final against Leicester
Watford players celebrate after winning the Championship Playoff Semi Final against Leicester

Photo: Getty Images

With Watford leading 2-1 in the second leg at Vicarage Road to leave the aggregate 2-2, Leicester were awarded a a soft penalty in the fifth minute of stoppage time.

Marco Cassetti nudged Anthony Knockaert in the area and the Leicester player went down theatrically despite replays showing only light contact.

But justice was done as ex-Arsenal goalkeeper Manuel Almunia saved Knockaert's spot kick and then reacted quickly to block the rebound as well.

Watford cleared the ball and composed themselves to mount a counter attack.

Ikechi Anya drove down the right, laid the ball to Fernando Forestieri whose cross to the far post found Jonathan Hogg.

Hogg then nodded the ball down towards the penalty spot, where Troy Deeney drove in a perfect volley into the net for a 3-1 win and 3-2 victory on aggregate.

Hundreds of fans ran onto the field, and Watford manager Gianfranco Zola slipped on the wet grass as he raced down the sideline to celebrate.

"I could cry. It's heartbreaking," Deeney said after the final whistle.

"I feel for their guy who missed the penalty but it's a ruthless game and I'm happy we're the ones celebrating."

Zola added: "We've been lucky and fortunate. It was special to transform a disaster into something glorious. It was outstanding, I could not believe it."

"It's a cruel game," Leicester manager Nigel Pearson told Foxes Player. "It's very difficult to put into words at the moment how the players, staff and supporters are feeling.

"It's a very cruel way to finish the game - from having the opportunity of winning the game to going out within a few seconds. That, I think, is an illustration of how tough it is to be successful."

Watford will now play the winner of Brighton & Hove Albion against Crystal Palace in the final for a place in the Premier League.