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Nottingham Forest Goalkeeper Knew Exactly Where Conor Hourihane Would Put His Penalty

Nottingham Forest Goalkeeper Knew Exactly Where Conor Hourihane Would Put His Penalty
By Gary Connaughton Updated

Nottingham Forest moved one step closer to a return to the Premier League for the first time in 23 years, with their goalkeeper Brice Samba largely to thank for that.

The 28-year old has had an excellent season, helping bring the club from the relegation zone to the top six after a stellar run of form. He was formidable once again in the second leg of their play-off tie against Sheffield United.

Forest entered the game as strong favourites to advance to the final, carrying a 2-1 advantage into the return leg at their home ground. They looked to be well on their way to Wembley after taking the lead in the 19th minutes, leading 1-0 at the interval.

However, Sheffield United would get right back into the tie with a pair of goals of their own in the second half and send the game to extra-time. In truth, the visitors would likely be baking in victory today were it not for Samba.

He produced a number of excellent saves throughout the contest, including this one right at the end of extra-time.

Once it went to penalties, it was always likely that he would have a big say in the outcome.

So proved to be the case, with Samba saving three of the five penalties he faced, including one from Ireland midfielder Conor Hourihane.

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The save from Hourihane was particularly impressive. Samba seemed to feint going to his left, before staying in the middle and pulling off an excellent reaction save. He looked incredibly confident throughout the shootout, attempting to put his opponents off before their penalties.

As it turns out, he had a fair idea where each taker was going to put the ball.

After the game, an image of the player's water bottle emerged on social media, where a 'cheat sheet' of each Sheffield United player's favoured spot was.

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While this is a fairly common thing for goalkeepers, it worked brilliantly on this occasion.

It also tells us why he stayed upright for Hourihane's penalty, with the word 'stay' written beside his name. Goalkeepers standing in the middle and not diving is quite uncommon to see.

Nottingham Forest fans will be hoping that Samba can replicate these heroics when they take on Huddersfield Town in the final next week.

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SEE ALSO: Man Arrested For Headbutting Billy Sharp After Playoff Semi-Final

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