Championship - 1st Leg

Brentford 1-2 Middlesbrough

By Rob StevensBBC Sport at Griffin Park
Fernando Amorebieta
Fernando Amorebieta scored Middlesbrough's winner in stoppage time

A late Fernando Amorebieta winner at Griffin Park gave Middlesbrough a slim advantage in their Championship play-off semi-final against Brentford.

Substitute Amorebieta struck in injury time to give Boro a first-leg win.

Jelle Vossen gave the visitors the lead midway through the first half, heading Adam Clayton's cross into the corner.

Andre Gray drew the Bees level when he robbed goalkeeper Dimi Konstantopoulos on the edge of his penalty area and turned the ball into an empty net.

But Amorebieta's well-struck winner, which came after Brentford had dominated the second half, gives Aitor Karanka's side a one-goal cushion heading into the second leg on Friday, 15 May.

Brentford, who are attempting to win successive promotions under Mark Warburton but have been unsuccessful in all their previous seven play-off campaigns, will need to score in the second leg at Riverside Stadium if they are to keep alive their hopes of returning to the top flight for the first time since 1947.

Boro finished one place and seven points above Brentford, who will part company with Warburton at the end of the season, in the final league table and won both league meetings during the season.

Jelle Vossen
Jelle Vossen was left unmarked to head Boro ahead in the first half

The opening period was a cagey and scrappy affair and the first real chance came after 15 minutes, when Alan Judge forced a save from Konstantopoulos at his near post.

Vossen's unmarked header from the middle of the box gave the visitors, who are looking to return to the Premier League for the first time since 2009, the advantage.

The Belgian came close to doubling Boro's lead, latching on to a knock-down in the box and stabbing a shot goalwards but Brentford goalkeeper David Button managed to claw it off the line.

Gray equalised nine minutes into the second half after chasing a seemingly lost cause, charging down a clearance from Greek goalkeeper Konstantopoulos and guiding the ball in for his 18th goal of a prolific campaign.

Albert Adomah's left-footed half-volley tested Button from the edge of the area, while Konstantopoulos made amends for his earlier mistake, pulling off a great diving save to turn Jonathan Douglas's looping header behind.

Just as an entertaining and engaging encounter - which contained nine yellow cards - seemed to be heading for a draw, Boro snatched their late winner and a crucial first-leg advantage from a corner.

Venezuelan defender Amorebieta, on loan from Fulham, latched onto a loose ball and steered a left-footed shot past Button in the dying seconds, leading to wild celebrations from the Boro players at full-time.

Brentford manager Mark Warburton: "We got hurt by their deflection to send it into the far corner but we created chances, and right at the end another one flashed across the front of the goal.

"Our job now is to go there and win the game. Simple as that.

Middlesbrough head coach Aitor Karanka: "It's very important because you know it's always important to win the games, especially away.

"We haven't done anything yet because Brentford are a very good team.

"They had chances, especially from their set-pieces, so we have to prepare very well at the Riverside and we have to work with the same intensity."

Aitor Karanka
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho was in the stands to see his former assistant at Real Madrid, Aitor Karanka (r), take charge of Middlesbrough
Jelle Vossen
Middlesbrough have won all seven games in which Jelle Vossen has scored this season
Andre Gray
Andre Gray took advantage of an rare mistake from Dimi Konstantopoulos to net his 18th goal of the season
Middlesbrough are hoping to return to the Premier League after a six-year absence
Mark Warburton
Mark Warburton is leaving Brentford at the end of the season and could take charge of the Bees for the last time next Friday



Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 27Button
  • 10Odubajo
  • 6Dean
  • 26TarkowskiBooked at 46mins
  • 3BidwellBooked at 89mins
  • 20Diagouraga
  • 8Douglas
  • 23JotaSubstituted forDallasat 77'minutes
  • 18JudgeBooked at 31minsSubstituted forSmithat 88'minutes
  • 21Pritchard
  • 19Gray


  • 4MacLeod
  • 5Craig
  • 12McCormack
  • 15Dallas
  • 16Bonham
  • 17Toral
  • 24Smith


Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 13Konstantopoulos
  • 18WhiteheadBooked at 41mins
  • 4Ayala
  • 6Gibson
  • 3FriendBooked at 17mins
  • 8Clayton
  • 7Leadbitter
  • 27AdomahBooked at 40mins
  • 21VossenSubstituted forForshawat 83'minutesBooked at 85mins
  • 10TomlinBooked at 15minsSubstituted forAmorebietaat 73'minutesBooked at 76mins
  • 23BamfordSubstituted forKikeat 90'minutes


  • 9Kike
  • 12Ripley
  • 20Reach
  • 22Omeruo
  • 24Nsue
  • 29Amorebieta
  • 34Forshaw
Jonathan Moss

Match Stats

Home TeamBrentfordAway TeamMiddlesbrough
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Brentford 1, Middlesbrough 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Brentford 1, Middlesbrough 2.

  3. Post update

    Corner, Brentford. Conceded by Fernando Amorebieta.

  4. Goal!

    Goal! Brentford 1, Middlesbrough 2. Fernando Amorebieta (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by George Friend with a headed pass following a corner.

  5. Post update

    Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Toumani Diagouraga.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Toumani Diagouraga (Brentford).

  7. Post update

    Adam Forshaw (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Post update

    Foul by James Tarkowski (Brentford).

  9. Post update

    Daniel Ayala (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  10. Post update

    Corner, Brentford. Conceded by Fernando Amorebieta.

  11. Substitution

    Substitution, Middlesbrough. Kike replaces Patrick Bamford.

  12. Booking

    Jake Bidwell (Brentford) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Jake Bidwell (Brentford).

  14. Post update

    Grant Leadbitter (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Brentford. Tommy Smith replaces Alan Judge.

  16. Post update

    Corner, Brentford. Conceded by Fernando Amorebieta.

  17. Post update

    Corner, Brentford. Conceded by Patrick Bamford.

  18. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Alex Pritchard (Brentford) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  19. Booking

    Adam Forshaw (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  20. Post update

    Toumani Diagouraga (Brentford) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

As It Stood

13Sheff Wed461418144349-660
14Nottm Forest461514177169259
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