Tim Ream and Fulham are back in the big time.
Scott Parker’s side downed London rivals Brentford 2-1 in extra time on Tuesday in the EFL Championship Promotion Playoff Final. Fulham left back Joe Bryan scored a pair of goals in the extra period, which was all Fulham needed to clinch promotion back to the English top-flight after suffering relegation in 2019.
Both sides had plenty of chances to break the deadlock earlier in the match, but were unable to score in regulation. Bryan’s free kick roughly 40 yards out caught David Raya scrambling and nestled into the Brentford goal.
Joe Bryan gives his team the lead with a WILD free kick!
Fulham are just minutes from the Premier League ? pic.twitter.com/r1NLPludMU
— ESPN (@espn) August 4, 2020
With Brentford pushing for an equalizer, Fulham iced the result with Bryan showing his calmness from close range. The left back darted forward and after a nice 1-2 with Aleksandar Mitrovic, slotted between the legs of Raya for his second of the game.
Brentford pulled a goal back in stoppage time, but it wouldn’t lead to any late drama from Wembley.
Ream made his 47th combined league appearance of the season for the Cottagers, helping them win the playoff after finishing behind Leeds United, West Bromwich Albion, and Brentford in the regular season standings.
The 32-year-old won three of his five individual battles on the afternoon, while also completing 84% of his passes. 2020-21′ will be Ream’s third-career season in the EPL after playing also with Bolton Wanderers in 2011-12′.
Ream will join fellow U.S. Men’s National Team teammate Christian Pulisic in the top flight next season. Fulham’s new season will begin in September due to the COVID-19 pandemic pushing the current campaign into the summer.