Former Caltex Socceroos skipper Mile Jedinak scored from the spot to send Aston Villa to Wembley after they beat West Bromich Albion in a penalty shootout in their English Championship Play-off Semi-Final on Wednesday morning (AEST).
Jedinak came on with just seconds remaining in extra-time specifically for the shootout and he slotted Villa’s second spot-kick as they won 4-3 on penalties.
A shootout was required after the semi-final tie ended 2-2 on aggregate, with West Brom’s 1-0 win in the second leg cancelling-out Villa’s 2-1 victory on the weekend.
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While Jedinak’s cool finish from the spot was crucial for Dean Smith’s side, keeper Jed Steer – who started the season as Villa’s fourth-choice gloveman – was the hero with two vital saves in the shootout.
Villa will now face either Leeds United or Derby County – who play on Thursday morning at Elland Road with Leeds holding a 1-0 lead from the first leg – in the final at Wembley on May 27 (AEST).
A win in the Play-off Final would promote Villa back to the Premier League after a three-year absence.
Norwich City and Sheffield United were promoted automatically after finishing as the top-two in the Championship at the end of the regular season.