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Benik Afobe scored both goals as Millwall closed in on the Championship play-off places with an impressive 2-0 victory over promotion-chasing Huddersfield.

The Lions moved within two points of the top six after extending their unbeaten run to eight games and making it five matches without conceding in the process.

They also ended the Terriers’ streak of 17 league games without defeat – which stretched back to November – and left them still three points behind second-placed Bournemouth, having now played three games more.

That was after Huddersfield had a flurry of chances in the game’s early stages, starting with Lewis O’Brien having a well-struck effort from just outside the box that forced a good save out of Bartosz Bialkowski.

The resulting corner from Sorba Thomas was not cleared properly, leading to Duane Holmes having a low effort that also needed pushing away by Bialkowski.

Holmes then sent another shot from distance over the bar before Danny Ward lifted off target after being picked out by O’Brien’s excellent ball into the area.

Having withstood the early pressure, Millwall almost took the lead themselves in the 12th minute when Murray Wallace played a pass through for Afobe, with Lee Nicholls doing well to stop his attempted dink.

That led to the Lions building up a head of steam and they broke through after 27 minutes when a blocked shot from Mason Bennett fell for Afobe, who controlled before burying the ball past Nicholls.

The hosts continued to have the better of things until half-time, with Bennett almost adding a second when he curled just over after cutting inside from the left.

A big chance for Millwall to double their lead came 10 minutes into the second half when Bennett’s cut-back found its way to Afobe, but he shot tamely at Nicholls.

There was no stopping Afobe from claiming his second two minutes later, however, when he smashed a superb effort into the bottom corner after Scott Malone’s free-kick was cleared his way.

The Lions almost killed the game off when only the crossbar denied Afobe a hat-trick with a close-range header before Nicholls somehow clawed away Dan Ballard’s follow-up.

Still the hosts pushed for a third and they came close again when George Saville knocked the ball back for Wallace, who was denied on the line by Harry Toffolo.

The woodwork then prevented Afobe from completing his treble again when his header from Malone’s cross came back off the post with seven minutes left.

What the managers said…

Millwall’s Gary Rowett: “If you look back at some of the moments, we’ve hit the bar, it was a penalty when the lad blocks it on the line when his had his up in the air – think it was (Lewis) O’Brien. The keeper has made two or three fabulous saves and Benik has missed another really good chance that is probably far better than his second goal. But that’s what you’d rather talk about: creating lots of opportunities rather than talking about missing them.

“He took his two, he’ll be disappointed he didn’t have a hat-trick, but I think the bigger picture is a really good performance both on and off the ball today. It was really disciplined. In terms of possession, they will have had more possession but in terms of chances, I thought we completely dominated the game.”

Huddersfield’s Carlos Corberan: “I thought today that Millwall were better than us and that’s why we lost the game. To analyse the first goal, I need to talk about our attack because for me today, the feeling of the first 15 minutes was very positive. But after these positive minutes, we started to lose the ball in very high-risk spaces on the pitch.

“When you have the losing of the ball in the middle of the pitch, the normal thing is you suffer in one transition and their first goal was exactly this. After you lose the ball in the last third of the pitch, you are going to suffer counter-attacks. I think today, in the offensive half, we didn’t find the stability with the ball or the accuracy with the pass and that didn’t allow us to create chances.”



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