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EPL Promotion Watch: Hull Goes Up to EPL, 4-Club Playoff Set

HULL, ENGLAND - MAY 04:  Paul McShane of Hull is congratulated by teammate David Meyler (R) after scoring his team's second goal during the npower Championship match between Hull City and Cardiff City at KC Stadium on May 04, 2013 in Hull, England.  (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
Gareth Copley/Getty Images
Joe TanseyFeatured ColumnistMay 4, 2013

The race to be promoted to the English Premier League ended in a fury on Saturday with 12 matches played simultaneously across England. 

Hull City became the second club to be promoted to the top flight with a 2-2 draw against league champions Cardiff City at the KC Stadium. 

The Tigers went down in the 49th minute by way of a Fraizer Campbell goal before springing back into action in front of the home fans with two second-half goals. 

Nick Proschwitz and Paul McShane scored five minutes apart to give the Tigers the lead before plenty of late drama ensued. 

Hull were awarded a penalty, which was taken by Proschwitz and saved by Cardiff keeper David Marshall. Just seconds before the final whistle, the Bluebirds were awarded a penalty that Nicky Maynard converted.

Hull were forced to sit around and nervously wait for close to 15 minutes before finding out that they would earn an automatic promotion to the EPL after third-placed Watford conceded a late goal at home against Leeds United.

In the 90th minute, Ross McCormack equalized on a counter-attack to give Leeds United the victory and send Watford into the four-club playoff for the final promotion spot.

The other piece of late drama that occurred was in the battle for sixth place, as Leicester City barely beat out Bolton to earn the final spot in the promotion playoffs.

Anthony Knockaert scored a late goal in stoppage time to give the Foxes a 3-2 victory over Nottingham Forest.

Bolton could only draw with Blackpool, 2-2, which was not enough to claim sixth place, as they had a worse goal differential than Leicester City.

The other two clubs that will participate in the promotion playoffs will be Brighton & Hove Albion and Crystal Palace.

Brighton took care of business against Wolves by winning, 2-0, and in the process, Wolves were relegated to League One. 

Crystal Palace also sent their opponent to League One by beating Peterborough, 3-2, at Selhurst Park. 

In the promotion playoffs, Watford will play Leicester City, while rivals Brighton and Crystal Palace will square off in the semifinal round, which features a home and away leg. The promotion playoff final is just one leg and will be played at Wembley Stadium in London.

Here is how the Championship table looks after the final day of play in the English second flight. 

Club Matches Played Points Goal Differential
Cardiff City 46 87 27
Hull City 46 79 9
Watford 46 77 27
Brighton & Hove Albion 46 75 26
Crystal Palace 46 72 11
Leicester City 46 68 23

Follow me on Twitter @JTansey90.

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