Garcia stars in Hull City play-off win
Richard Garcia has starred for Hull City in the 2nd leg of their Championship semi final play-off against Watford, scoring one and having a hand in two of Hull’s goals in the 4-1 win at the KC Stadium.
Richard Garcia has starred for Hull City in the 2nd leg of their Championship semi final play-off against Watford, scoring one and having a hand in two of Hull-s goals in the 4-1 win at the KC Stadium.
Garcia, who recovered from a shoulder injury to make it back for the play-off-s, scored a superb individual goal that put Hull 3-1 up and effectively ended any hope of Watford, making a miraculous comeback.
The win (6-1 on aggregate) now pits Hull up against Nick Carle and his Bristol City side in the play-off decider on May 24 at Wembley Stadium, the winner to play in the English Premier League next season.
Leading 2-0 after the first leg, Hull started nervously in front of their home fans and Watford capitalized after just 12 minutes with a slick goal, finished off by Darius Henderson from 6 metres.
The turning point of the match came just before half time, when Watford failed to clear their lines and Garcia-s looping header was headed for the back of the net, but local hero Nick Barmby made sure to guide it home.
Watford looked the more composed after the break, but the introduction of Caleb Folan up front for Hull proved crucial. His power and pace started to cause problems for the Watford defence.
With 20 minutes to go, Garcia orchestrated Hull-s 2nd and decisive goal, sending an overlapping Sam Rickett-s down the right and he picked out Folan, who steered his header home from six yards.
Garcia then scored the goal of the game with only minutes of normal time remaining. Receiving the ball near the half way line, he attacked at pace and with the Watford defence backing off, Garcia went past the last defender and then neatly stroked his shot past Richard Lee.
He was instantly mobbed by jubilant Hull supporters, but they still had time for one more goal with Nathan Doyle-s deflected effort, rubbing further salt into Watford-s wounds.
The win sets up an intriguing play-off final against Bristol City, with neither side at the start of the season considered a hope of getting to this stage. For Hull City fans it will be there first trip to Wembley and their first real chance of making to the top flight of English football.
Whichever way it goes on May 24, one Aussie will leave a very happy man and add their name to list of players to have played in the EPL, while the other will only lament what might have been.