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Charlton Athletic vs Sunderland. Sky Bet League One Play-Offs Final.

Wembley StadiumAttendance76,155.

Charlton Athletic 2

  • B Purrington (35th minute)
  • P Bauer (94th minute)

Sunderland 1

  • M Sarr (5th minute own goal)

Charlton 2-1 Sunderland: Patrick Bauer scores last-gasp winner in League One play-off final

Charlton promoted to the Sky Bet Championship after dramatic victory over Sunderland at Wembley.

preview image 3:46
Highlights of the Sky Bet League One play-off final between Charlton and Sunderland.

Charlton pipped Sunderland at the death in the League One play-off final as Patrick Bauer's 94th-minute strike earned them a 2-1 win at Wembley.

In the most dramatic finale, the defender poked home from close range to earn Charlton promotion to the Championship. They had initially fallen behind to Naby Sarr's freak own goal after four minutes before levelling through Ben Purrington.

Charlton win League One play-off final
Image: Charlton win the League One play-off final

It earned Charlton a return to the second tier for the first time since 2016, while Sunderland's hopes of promotion at the first attempt were blown apart right at the last.

All the talk pre-match had been about the classic 1998 Division One final as Charlton had won 7-6 on penalties following a 4-4 draw - and they may well be talking about the drama at the end of this one for another two decades to come as well.

Image: Patrick Bauer scores the last-gasp winner

Team news

Charlton made one change from their dramatic semi-final against Doncaster as Darren Pratley came into midfield. Sunderland were unchanged but Aiden McGeady was fit enough for the bench.

Charlton battle back from nightmare start

The opening goal was the most extraordinary gift for Sunderland.

Under no real pressure whatsoever, Sarr turned to lay a pass back to Dillon Phillips, but the goalkeeper failed to control the ball completely as it ran under his foot.

An incredible own goal from Naby Sarr gifts Sunderland the opener in the League One play-off final.

He scrambled back to try and salvage the situation, but his efforts were to no avail as the ball rolled over the line, leaving Wembley stunned.

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Charlton rallied well and found the equaliser after 35 minutes. Lyle Taylor, who had gone close himself moments earlier, was the creator as his low ball across the six-yard box found Purrington, who could barely miss from close range.

Image: Charlton earned a last-gasp win at Wembley

Player ratings

Charlton: Phillips (5), Dijksteel (7), Bielik (8), Bauer (8), Sarr (3), Purrington (7), Pratley (6), Cullen (7), Aribo (7), Taylor (7), Parker (6)

Subs: Pearce (6), Williams (6)

Sunderland: McLaughlin (6), O'Nien (6), Flanagan (6), Ozturk (6), Oviedo (5), Leadbitter (6), Cattermole (6), Power (n/a), Honeyman (6), Maguire (5), Wyke (5)

Subs: Morgan (6), Grigg (5), McGeady (n/a)

Man of the match: Krystian Bielik

The second half was as tense as the first was open. Very little was created at either end, at least until Charlton's dramatic winner.

Josh Cullen found space on the left to put a great ball into the middle for Bauer. His first attempt was blocked by Tom Flanagan but he wasn't to be denied with the second, as he steered the ball in off the Sunderland defender to send the Charlton fans wild. The biggest sighs of relief, however, would have come from the mouths of Phillips and Sarr.

Image: Charlton celebrate as Lee Cattermole looks dejected

Man of the match - Krystian Bielik

Were you watching Unai Emery? Arsenal loanee Bielik has been a revelation for Charlton this season, playing both as a centre-back and in defensive midfield. He was a rock again for the Addicks and was key in helping them rediscover their composure after such a difficult start at Wembley.

Charlton's Patrick Bauer and Krystian Bielik say they have worked so hard for this moment after securing promotion to the Championship with a 2-1 win against Sunderland in the League One playoff final.

The managers

Lee Bowyer: "It hasn't sunk in yet. All I'm seeing is all these proud people. I'm so proud of my players. They just keep going and going. I said it in the semi-finals - they give me everything. A unique group of players and this crowd to bring this all together - it has been some season.

Charlton's Lee Bowyer says his players gave him everything and hailed promotion to the Championship as the proudest moment of his career.

"This is probably the proudest moment of my whole career - I'm delighted for this club. It showed our character to come from behind and score at the death there."

Jack Ross: "It's very painful to lose in that manner. We started well but Charlton worked their way back into the game. Second half there wasn't many opportunities, both were fatigued, but I thought we wasn't struggling.

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Sunderland manager Jack Ross says there is a lot to still be proud of this season despite losing to Charlton in the League One play-off final at Wembley.

"It's gut wrenching, that feeling in your pit of your stomach. We didn't deserve to lose in that manner. In time that soreness will help them in the long term."

What's next?

Charlton will play in the Sky Bet Championship next season while Sunderland will remain in League One for the 2019/20 season, which gets underway over the weekend of 2-4 August.

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