Watch Watford's Dramatic, Late Penalty Save and Winner Against Leicester

Michael CummingsWorld Football Lead WriterMay 12, 2013

WATFORD, ENGLAND - MAY 12: Troy Deeney of Watford score the winning goal during the npower Championship Play Off Semi Final: Second Leg between Watford and Leicester City at Vicarage Road on May 12, 2013 in Watford, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Watford's Premier League dream remains alive after the most dramatic of turnarounds in the nPower Championship playoffs.

Trailing 1-0 after the first leg of their playoff semifinal against Leicester City, Watford rallied for a late, late 3-1 victory Sunday at Vicarage Road. With the win, the Hornets advanced to the playoff final at Wembley where they will play either Brighton and Hove Albion or Crystal Palace on May 27.

Had a bounce or two gone another direction, however, Watford would be done for the season. If you missed it, here's what happened.

Watford led Leicester 2-1 heading into second-half stoppage time. The two-legged semifinal was tied 2-2 after Leicester's 1-0 win in the first leg, and extra time was beckoning.

Then the match took a turn toward the dramatic. Leicester won a penalty deep in stoppage time as Antony Knockaert went to ground in the box. Contact from Watford's Marco Cassetti appeared slight, and Knockaert made the most of it.

Knockaert took the penalty, hitting the ball down the middle with his left foot.

Watford goalkeeper Manuel Almunia dived to his left but saved the shot with his trailing leg.

Almunia then recovered quickly enough to stop Knockaert's rebound. Watford cleared and immediately began a counterattack.

Watford broke quickly down the right flank. Ikechi Anya passed to Fernando Forestieri, who crossed deep to the far post for Jonathan Hogg.

Hogg headed back to Troy Deeney, who smashed the clinching goal into the net.

It all happened in the seventh minute of stoppage time, and it was one of the most dramatic finishes you'll ever see. Add in the high stakes and it might just be one of the most memorable moments of the season.

To view the whole sequence in real time, click here for a video. For another perspective, be sure to watch a gloriously flabbergasted commentary from a Sky Sports pundit below.

Way back in the first half, Matej Vydra opened the scoring for Watford in the 15th minute before Leicester's David Nugent equalized four minutes later. Vydra's second, in the 65th minute, put Watford back ahead and appeared destined to send the game to extra time.

But then two moments of magic won it for Watford, who will now ride a wave of emotion into the Championship playoff final.


(GIFs via @FeintZebra)