Super Eagles defender Semi Ajayi’s hopes of playing in the English Premier League next season suffered a significant setback after West Bromwich Albion lost at Huddersfield Town on Friday.
The Baggies, second in the Championship, needed to win to close the gap on leaders Leeds United and put daylight between themselves and third-placed Brentford.
But Arsenal loanee Emile Smith-Rowe shattered the Baggies promotion hope with the winner four minutes from time after West Brom’s Dara O’Shea had cancelled Chris Willock’s opener in the first half.
The loss means West Brom can no longer catch Leeds United who have an unassailable five-point and have now sealed a return to the Premier League after 16 years away.
Leeds will now be crowned champions if Brentford do not beat Stoke on Saturday or the Whites then take a point from Sunday’s visit to Derby County.
Meanwhile, Brentford can leapfrog West Brom into second-place with victory on Saturday effectively ending the Baggies control of their own automatic promotion hopes with one game of the season left after this round of fixtures.
After months of controlling their destiny, Ajayi and West Brom may have to navigate through the tempestuous process of the play-offs to secure a return to the topflight.