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Sports News of Sunday, 23 May 2021


Andre Ayew and Tariqe Fosu to battle for Premier League ticket

Ghana attacker Andre Ayew Ghana attacker Andre Ayew

Ghana attacker Andre Ayew and Swansea City are through to the final of the Championship play-off after a 1-1 draw with Barnsley on Saturday.

Matt Grimes put the Jack Army in front in the first half but Cauley Woodrow restored parity for visiting Barnsley at Liberty Stadium.

With a crucial 1-0 away victory in the first leg at Oakwell, Steve Cooper’s side progressed to the next round on a 2-1 aggregate.

In the final at Wembley, Swansea will come face to face against Brentford who beat Bournemouth 3-2 on aggregate in the second semi-final tie after a 3-1 second-leg home win on Saturday.

At the turn of events, a Ghana international is confirmed to seal qualification for the Premier League after the final as Brentford have winger Tariqe Fosu on their books.

It is Swansea’s second straight appearance in the play-offs following relegation from the elite division in 2018.

Last season, interestingly, the Jack Army clashed with none other than Brentford in the semi-finals, the former winning to make their way to the grand finale where they lost to Fulham.

Swansea opened the scoring in the 39th minute on Saturday as Grimes who sent a curling effort from the edge of the box into the top left corner after taking control of a Jay Fulton header.

In the 71st minute, Woodrow leveled things for Barnsley, side-stepping the ball from just inside the box and into the net after a marauding counter run by Jordan Williams.

“It [ultimate promotion] would be among the tops for me. I have grown to love the club and the fans. It’s very special for me. It would be a big achievement for me because it would prove I can do it at any level,” Ayew told his club’s official website ahead of the game.

“I’ve followed a lot of players who have played at a really high level, come down to the Championship, and not succeeded.

“For me, this has been a test to prove I can do it at any level. I have done it at every level and I’ve never doubted myself. I need to keep going. If you work hard, you get rewarded and I want to make Swansea happy.

“In terms of me personally, this [promotion] would be very big. That’s the reason why I stayed with this team. If there was no ambition to try and go up, then there would have been no point.”

Ayew, Swansea’s top scorer so far this season with 17 goals in 45 league appearances, will be expected to rise to the occasion once again in the final showdown against Brentford.