Middlesbrough are just one win away from a return to the Premier League as they beat Brentford 3-0 to progress to the Championship play-off final on Friday.
Fernando Amorebieta’s dramatic last-gasp winner in last week’s semi-final first leg meant Aitor Karanka’s men had a 2-1 advantage before this contest at the Riverside Stadium and they rounded off the job in style to complete a 5-1 aggregate triumph.
Lee Tomlin’s deflected first-half effort set Boro on their way, before Kike’s emphatic shot and a well-worked goal from Albert Adomah ensured Mark Warburton – who will now leave his post as Brentford manager – will not end his tenure with promotion.
Middlesbrough now head to Wembley to face either Norwich City or Ipswich Town, looking to end a six-year hiatus from the Premier League.
The hosts pressed high up in the pitch in the early stages and that tactic bore fruit in the 23rd minute when Adomah squared to Tomlin and the midfielder’s edge-of-the-box effort cannoned into the right-hand side of the net via the leg of Harlee Dean.
It was just rewards for Middlesbrough’s first-half efforts, but the visitors – who were seeking back-to-back promotions – threatened a leveller shortly before the break when Andre Gray just failed to connect with a header from Alan Judge’s inviting cross.
Gray was again agonisingly close to an equaliser as the striker slid to meet Moses Odubajo’s cross along the six-yard box, and the visitors’ misery deepened in the 55th minute.
Jelle Vossen showed great determination in the Brentford penalty area and, although he could not get his shot away, the ball fell for Kike who smashed his effort high past David Button in the Brentford goal.
Adomah then put the icing on the cake with 12 minutes left. The winger played a neat one-two with Tomlin and rounded Button before blasting home from close range.
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