Nottingham Forest hero Brice Samba won’t need to buy a pint in Nottingham any time soon. His heroics in Tuesday night’s win over Sheffield United have sent Forest on their way to Wembley to face Huddersfield. After the game, Tiago Silva and Philip Zinckernagel had some praise for the stopper.
Samba has had his critics in the past. Some of the stuff said about him has been accurate but he’s finally showcased his class. His three shootout saves from Oliver Norwood, Conor Hourihane and Morgan Gibbs-White gave Forest a 3-2 win on penalties against the Blades.
The 28-year-old arrived on Trentside in 2019. He was originally going to be a backup for Arijanet Muric but he quickly dispossessed him in the starting eleven. Since then he’s not looked back and has made 132 appearances for the Reds.
It was his 132nd that proved to be the most memorable. After making two decent saves during the contest, he then carried the team in the penalty shootout. Brennan Johnson, Cafu and Steve Cook were the men who found the net in the shootout for Forest.
Samba lost his place earlier this season. He was sent off against Stoke and that allowed Ethan Horvath to deputise. Steve Cooper gave the American a seven-game stretch in the team before reinstating Samba at Blackpool in April.
Making Samba sit out has clearly had the desired effect on his form. The Forest goalkeeper has really kicked on during the final stages of the season and his good form has thankfully carried into the play-off campaign too.
Zinckernagel and Silva praise Samba and Forest man will now go into folklore
Whether Forest win at Wembley or not remains to be seen. It will be viewed as a season to remember under Steve Cooper though and one where the Reds reached the play-off final for the very first time in their history.
Samba will always be remembered as the Man of the Match in the game that got the team there. His saves will be on highlight reels for years to come and Forest fans will have had the shootout on a loop since Tuesday.
Both Zinckernagel and Silva have taken to Instagram. The pair used just a single word, to sum up, the brilliance of Samba and the hope will be that his form can carry on at Wembley and he can help Forest claim a spot in the Premier League.