Fulham Promoted Back to Premier League on Joe Bryan's Extra-Time Heroics

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Fulham is headed back to the Premier League, and it's doing so after an outrageous goal in extra time and then another for good measure from Joe Bryan.

Bryan's long-range free kick caught Brentford by surprise in the 105th minute before he scored again in the 117th of a 2-1 triumph, which sends the Cottagers back to the top flight and denied Brentford what would have been its first place in the top division in 73 years.

For the opener Bryan lined up for a free kick some 40 yards out, appearing to survey his options for what looked to be a ball he'd serve to a teammate. Instead, he put his chance on frame, and Brentford goalkeeper David Raya was slow to react, watching the ball bounce into the back of the net to break a deadlock.

That's a costly mistake to make: according to the Associated Press, Brentford stood to make up to $345 million over five years if it were promoted and survived a season in the Premier League. Regardless, Brentford stood to make at least $208 million due to shared broadcast revenues and subsequent parachute payments.

Bryan, who had one goal all season prior to Tuesday's performance at Wembley (scored in September, no less), secured the victory with another sensational effort, this one a bit more traditional to give Fulham its 2-0 lead. 

Brentford scored a consolation goal at the death from Henrik Dalsgaard, but it was too little, too late.

For Fulham, the win secures its return to the top flight a season after being relegated and is worth $176 million, a figure lower than what Brentford would have earned due to parachute payments it's still receiving for being promoted for the 2018-19 season only to be instantly relegated.

The return to the Premier League comes with American ties, with veteran U.S. defender Tim Ream a core part of Fulham's defense. He's under contract with the club through 2021. Fulham, of course, has a big American connection, with Brian McBride, Clint Dempsey, Carlos Bocanegra, Eddie Lewis, Marcus Hahnemann, Kasey Keller and Eddie Johnson spending time with the club and the likes of Emerson Hyndman and Luca de la Torre coming through its academy. De la Torre, a 22-year-old San Diego native, hardly featured for the first team this season and is out of contract. 

Fulham joins Leeds United and West Brom in going up, taking the place of Norwich City, Watford and Bournemouth in the Premier League.