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Football | English Championship

Rajiv van La Parra © Gallo Images

Huddersfield frustrated in playoff draw

Huddersfield were unable to turn their dominance into a priceless goal as gritty Sheffield Wednesday held on for a 0-0 draw in the first leg of the Championship playoff semifinals on Sunday.

David Wagner's side controlled possession for long periods at the John Smith's Stadium, but couldn't find a way past Wednesday goalkeeper Keiren Westwood.

Huddersfield, who finished one place below Wednesday in the second tier table, saw Izzy Brown hit the crossbar in the first half, while Nahki Wells twice tested Westwood.

Cautious Wednesday failed to muster a shot on target, but the stalemate means they return to Hillsborough for the second leg next week as favourites to reach the Wembley final for a second successive year.

Huddersfield almost landed an early goal when Wednesday defender Glenn Loovens failed to clear Wells's header and the ball landed to Brown eight yards out, but his shot skimmed the bar.

That turned out to be the best moment for either side in the first half as Wednesday's resolute defending kept Huddersfield at bay.

Wells threatened after the interval when he turned his marker and produced a chip that had Westwood back-peddling before tipping over.

Huddersfield's Tommy Smith fired over before Wells had another chance when a loose ball fell to him eight yards from goal but Westwood was out quickly to deflect it wide.

Wednesday were beaten by Hull in last year's playoff final and their bid to avenge that painful defeat remains on track after they subdued Huddersfield in the closing stages.


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