It’s remarkable when an important professional sports event, in this case a match from England’s Championship that determined a playoff spot for the Luton Town Hatters in a bid to advance to the Premier League, is determined by a play destined for an all-time blooper reel. That’s what happened Saturday with Luton’s home clash against Reading FC, though. In first half stoppage time, Reading keeper Ørjan Nyland (who was otherwise excellent) didn’t realize that Luton’s Harry Cornick was lurking behind him when he tried to put the ball back in play. That meant a very easy goal indeed for Cornick:
— When Playing It Out of the Back Goes Wrong (@wpiootbgw) May 7, 2022
And that was the only goal in Luton Town’s 1-0 win. So, that’s not ideal.
But this is not the only case of a sports result far from the professional norm in sports over the past few years; we’ve seen quite a few of those. This one does stand out for its long-term implications, though. This means that the Hatters finished sixth in the Championship table and advanced to a semifinal playoff, where they’ll face Huddersfield Town in a two-leg clash. So that error from Nyland may wind up being quite notable in who advances to the Premier League and gets the estimated $125 million U.S. payday that comes with that.