Fulham returned to Craven Cottage on Monday knowing their needed a strong turnaround to keep their hopes of making the English Premier League alive.
The hosts used a pair of second-half goals to eliminate Derby County 2-1 in their second leg tie to book a place into the EFL Playoff Final at Wembley Stadium. 17-year-old Ryan Sessegnon leveled the aggregate at 1-1 in the 47th minute as he rifled a left-footed effort into the top-left corner. It was the English international’s 16th league goal of the season.
Bradley Johnson had Derby’s only shot on goal in the 56th minute but Marcus Bettinelli was up to the task.
After leveling the score earlier in the half, Sessegnon played distributor for the winning goal after the hour mark. Sessegnon’s cross found Denis Odoi inside of the box and the defender headed past Scott Carson for the deciding goal.
Despite 14 shots offensively, Derby lacked the finished product in front of goal ultimately falling in London. Carson made nine saves in the defeat, which easily could’ve seen the Rams out of the tie much earlier.
American defender Tim Ream made his 47th appearance of the season in the victory, helping Fulham keep a clean sheet in the deciding leg. Ream had 60 completed passes, the most out of any player in the Fulham backline and stood strong against a tough Derby attack.
Up next for Fulham is a date with either Middlesbrough or Aston Villa at Wembley on May 26th for the final promotion spot into the EPL.