English Championship Playoff Semifinal Between Watford + Leicester City Has One Of The Craziest Finishes You Will Ever See [VIDEO]
At the end of every season in international football, teams that finish at the bottom of the standings are sent to lower leagues, while teams in lower divisions that finish at the top of their standings are promoted to higher ones through either automatic qualification or by winning a playoff tournament.
What does this mean? For the teams relegated, it means less money from television deals and fan attendance. This means that these teams often have to sell off their best players, because they literally cannot afford them. For promoted teams, it means the exact opposite. They make more money and can bring in better players for a rejuvenated fan base to see.
That is why playoff games, like today's match between Watford FC and Leicester City is so important. Both teams are in the English Championship division, meaning that promotion would send them to the English Premier League, one of the richest and most prestigious leagues in any sport on Earth.
At the very end of stoppage time of today's semifinal match, Leicester's Antony Knockaert earned a penalty kick, one that would send Leicester within a game of the Premier League if converted. The resulting play was nothing short of insanity.
Knockaert has his penalty kick saved by Watford goalie Manuel Almunia, who used to play at Arsenal, then has his rebound denied, Watford clear the ball, counter attack and score on a volley from Troy Deeny (the photo above is Knockaert's reaction to the series of events). Deeny jumps into the crowd, the crowd jumps onto the field, and Watford are one game away from being peers with the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea and the like.