Luton advances in playoffs, earns shot at playing in Premier League for first time
Luton is heading to Wembley Stadium for a shot at playing in the Premier League for the first time.
Luton beat Sunderland 2-0 on Tuesday to clinch a 3-2 win on aggregate and a place in the Championship playoff final, often labeled the world’s most lucrative one-off soccer game because of guaranteed future earnings for the winning team.
The final will be played at Wembley on May 27, with Middlesbrough and Coventry vying to be Luton's opponent. The second leg of their playoff semifinal takes place on Wednesday, with the teams locked at 0-0.
Luton, a club located just north of London, was last in England's top division in 1991-92 — the season before it was rebranded as the Premier League. The team has since dropped as low as English soccer's fifth tier and was playing at that level as recently as 2014.
Luton finished third in the Championship's regular season behind champion Burnley and Sheffield United, who both earned automatic promotion.
Sunderland was sixth and seeking a return to the Premier League after a six-year absence, during which time the northeast club has been the subject of a Netflix documentary.
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Steve Douglas, The Associated Press