LONDON (AP) — Hull secured an immediate return to the English Premier League and a minimum $250 million cash bonanza by beating Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 in the League Championship playoff final on Saturday.
Mohamed Diame's goal was worthy of winning soccer's richest single match, the Senegal midfielder collecting the ball 25 meters out and curling a right-footed shot into the top-right corner in the 72nd minute.
"That little bit of quality to decide a big game," Hull manager Steve Bruce said. "Diame has produced a bit of magic and it's won us the match."
Wednesday goalkeeper Kieren Westwood had produced a string of excellent saves to keep dominant Hull at bay at Wembley Stadium, and got his fingertips to Diame's shot. He couldn't keep it out.
Hull bounces back into England's lucrative top division at the first attempt under the ownership of Egyptian-born businessman Assem Allam, who is seriously ill and wasn't at Wembley for the game.
Allam saved Hull from falling into financial ruin when he took over the northeast England club in 2010, following its relegation from the Premier League.
Promotion is worth at least $250 million in future earnings to Hull, with the Premier League's new domestic and international TV deals starting next season and worth a record $12 billion over three years.
Wednesday was seeking a return to the Premier League after a 16-year absence, and was a shock qualifier for the playoff final. But the Thai-owned team appeared to freeze on the big occasion, with Hull creating most of the best chances.
"We seemed to have so many good chances," Bruce said. "Thankfully Diame has come up with a wonder strike . my big players today performed excellently."
Bruce became the first manager to achieve four promotions to the Premier League.
Hull finished the regular season nine points ahead of Wednesday.