REPORT: Owls 0-1 Hull
Sheffield Wednesday suffered Championship play-off Final heartbreak after losing 1-0 against Hull City at Wembley.
Mohammed Diame was the Tigers’ match-winner, with his stunning 25-yard strike into the top left-hand corner settling the match on 72 minutes.
Wednesday had their moments, which were alas few and far between, whilst Hull created the better of the chances and emerged deserved winners.
Carlos Carvalhal made just one change from the side that started the semi final second leg away at Brighton. Sam Hutchinson was restored to the midfield, with Alex Lopez listed amongst the substitutes.
Tom Huddlestone fired an early warning strike for the Tigers after being teed up by Jake Livermore, but his thunderous drives went straight at Keiren Westwood, who held at the second attempt.
Meanwhile at the other end, Fernando Forestieri managed to escape his man down the left before making a beeline for the penalty area, but was brought down by Michael Dawson.
The Argentinian playmaker picked himself up to take the free kick from an acute angle, and his rasping hit stung the hands of Eldin Jakupovic, who thumped the ball over the crossbar.
From another set-piece Ross Wallace curled a free kick over the wall which again forced Jakupovic into a save.
Hull were yet to cause the Wednesday back-line any major troubles thus far, but for the final ten minutes of the first half they began to up the ante.
Diame’s through-ball slipped into the path of Abel Hernandez, but one-on-one with Westwood the Irish stopper pulled off a magnificent save to divert the ball over the bar.
Diame was at the heart of most of Hull’s forays into the Owls’ half and just before the break came close to opening the scoring.
The Senegalese international danced his way through the defence before striking from a tight angle, but at the critical moment he sliced his shot against the outside of the post.
With half time approaching, there was enough time for Westwood to pull off another fine stop as he spread his body to deny right back Moses Odubajo who had burst into the penalty area.
It took just eight minutes after the restart for Hull to register another shot on target, and again it was Westwood who came to the rescue.
The ball dropped to an unmarked Dawson just inside the six-yard box and the defender took a touch before smashing goalwards Westwood denied the Tigers’ skipper.
Minutes later another counter-attack saw the ball fall to Andrew Robertson with just Westwood to beat, but the left back somehow managed to scoop his shot over the bar from close range.
At the other end Hutchinson managed to jink his way past a couple of challenges before firing from the edge of the area but the ball rose high over the crossbar.
Steve Bruce’s men had been long pushing for the game’s opening goal, and they found a way through on 72 minutes through Diame.
The midfielder picked up the ball from around 25-yards, side-stepped his defender and bent a wicked strike into the top corner, with Westwood’s fingertips not enough to keep out the ferocious
Wednesday threw on Atdhe Nuhiu and Lucas Joao in a bid to rescue a late equaliser which would have sent the game into extra time, but Hull’s defence remained resolute through the closing stages.
As the Owls piled everyone forward for the final few moments of the match, the ball fell to substitute Jeremy Helan who managed to shoot unchallenged, but unfortunately over the bar.
Wednesday: Westwood, Hutchinson (Nuhiu, 76), Loovens, Hooper, Lees, Lee, Hunt, Wallace (Helan, 63), Pudil, Bannan, Forestieri