Monday, May 25, 1998 Published at 22:07 GMT 23:07 UK
Charlton clinch nail-biter
Charlton are in the Premiership for the first time
Charlton have been promoted to the Premiership, beating Sunderland 7-6 on penalties at the end of an eight-goal thriller at Wembley.
Michael Gray was the north-eastern side's villain, taking a weak spot-kick which was an easy save for the Charlton goalkeeper Sasa Ilic after all previous penalties had been scored.
Both sides started nervously with Charlton perhaps having the better of the early exchanges. Defensively they looked strong, and their midfield game prevented Sunderland stringing passes together.
Mark Bright flicked a right wing throw-in to Mendonca. He neatly controlled it, sold Jody Craddock an expert dummy, leaving him with only Lionel Perez to beat, which he did with style.
Sunderland were stung into an immediate response and within seconds Ball and Niall Quinn came close. Charlton were also looking dangerous. Gray doing enough to put Mark Bright off as he rose at the far post to meet a perfect cross from Neil Heaney.
Sunderland finished the half the stronger of the two teams with two flowing moves. First Lee Clark fired over and then he created a superb chance for Summerbee, but Eddie Youds just got a toe in as the Sunderland winger prepared to shoot.
The goal raised the tempo of the match even higher, and Charlton's inspirational captain Mark Kinsella immediately came close to restoring their lead through a well worked free-kick.
But Sunderland were now at the top of their game, and Quinn missed a glorious chance to put them 2-1 up seconds before Kevin Phillips scored.
It not only put Sunderland in prime position for promotion, but as his 35th goal of the season, it broke Sunderland's previous one-season scoring record set by Brian Clough.
Charlton brought on Steve Jones for Neil Heaney just after Kinsella had tested Perez from distance, and Jones played a big part in Charlton's equaliser.
He won the ball in midfield, it broke for Rufus, who lobbed it forwards for Mendonca. He took just two touches to take it past the Sunderland defence before driving it past Perez.
Alan Curbishley was immediately on his feet urging his team forward, but within seconds Sunderland were back in front.
Clark on the right swung in a deep cross which found Quinn backing away from his marker. The big Irishman controlled the ball perfectly on his chest and fired past Ilic from an acute angle.
Sunderland replaced Phillips with Daniel Dichio, who was guilty of a glaring miss seconds later, when he elected to try to volley a Summerbee cross when a diving header would have been a better option.
Sunderland were living dangerously and Perez was first saviour, and then villain as Charlton made it 3-3.
First he made an instinctive save as a Bowen fired in a free-kick. Then he went for the corner, but with no chance of making it, and Richard Rufus had a free header to score his first goal for the club.
The game went to extra-time and Sunderland were looking marginally the more lively of two tired teams. With eight minutes of the extra period gone Summerbee put them 4-3 up, smashing a cushioned lay-off from Quinn past Ilic after a patient build up.
Seconds later Quinn could have put the result beyond doubt, but six yards out he failed to connect with a glorious cross from Allan Johnston on the left wing.
But the game was not over and Mendonca scored his hat-trick with a clinical finish to make it 4-4 right at the death of the first period.
Jones crossed low and hard from the right but the ball was behind Mendonca. That was no problem as in one fluid movement he controlled it and fired beyond Perez.
Both teams were by now exhausted, and Sunderland's Alex Rae and Craddock missed good chances as penalties loomed.