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Luton overturn 1st-leg deficit to beat Sunderland, reach playoff final

Marc Atkins / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Luton are one game away from the riches of the Premier League for the first time in 31 years after beating Sunderland 2-0 on Tuesday to progress to the Championship playoff final.

The Hatters had to come from behind after losing the first leg 2-1 on Saturday but were level in the tie after just 10 minutes when Gabriel Osho forced the ball home from a corner.

Set-pieces have been a major part of Luton's arsenal this season and one was also the source of the winner when Tom Lockyer headed in just before half-time.

Sunderland were aiming to secure back-to-back promotions to return to the top flight for the first time in six years.

But the inexperience of Tony Mowbray's young side showed as they toiled for a route back into the game after the break.

Instead it is Luton's fairytale rise through the leagues that could be completed at Wembley on May 29 when they will face Middlesbrough or Coventry.

"It was an absolute battle over the two-legs, we had to mix up and be horrible and dirty and that's how we won the game," said Luton captain Lockyer.

"The atmosphere was special, making it really tough for Sunderland to come here. We have to enjoy tonight, but we have one eye on the bigger picture."

Relegated from the top flight in the season before the advent of the Premier League in 1992, Luton sank as low as the fifth-tier National League for five seasons between 2009 and 2014.

However, they are now on the brink of a fourth promotion in 10 years despite having one of the lowest budgets in the Championship.

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