Nottingham Forest’s penalty heroics emerge amid play-off heartache for Conor Hourihane

Nottingham Forest Brice Samba

Brice Samba was the hero for Nottingham Forest.

Brice Samba was the hero for Nottingham Forest, as he denied Sheffield United a place in the Championship play-off final at Wembley Stadium later this month.

Samba saved from the spot three times, including one from Ireland international Conor Hourihane in the shoot-out at the City Ground.

But it has since emerged how he helped stop the Blades in the shoot-out, with the use of an impromptu water bottle proving itself to be key as they reached the play-off final.

Brice Samba stops Conor Hourihane.

Following the game, an image of Samba’s water bottle did the rounds on social media, with the details of each penalty taker taped onto the bottle.

Importantly, Samba was right on three occasions, with Hourihane’s penalty one of the Congolese international’s most impressive saves.

The Forest shot-stopper stood tall to deny the Corkonian, helping to condemn Paul Heckingbottom’s side to play-off heartache at the City Ground.

“This club deserves that, it is not finished and we have one more step..”

In saving three times from the spot, Samba effectively sealed Forest’s place in the Championship play-off final, where the former European Champions will face Huddersfield Town in the Wembley decider.

“I enjoyed that,” Samba added after the game. “Great credit to my goalkeeper coach because we work hard. It was difficult,” Samba told Sky Sports after the match.

“I am happy to have the chance to go to Wembley. To be fair we were surprised a little bit because the way they were in the second half it was a bit crazy for them because they outnumbered everyone.

“It was tough and so we were prepared for that, the gaffer told us you need to be ready for any situation.

“I am so happy tonight, I can’t talk, sorry! This club deserves that, it is not finished and we have one more step. We are happy and enjoying tonight but we switch on for May 29.”

Read next: Man arrested after alleged assault on Billy Sharp after Nottingham Forest’s play-off win

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