Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka was left ruing the bold decision to send up goalkeeper Dimitrios Konstantopoulos for a stoppage-time corner after Fulham scored on the counter-attack to win 4-3.The defeat represents a mighty setback for Boro's hopes of automatic promotion from the Sky Bet Championship - a Bournemouth victory at home to Bolton on Monday will effectively consign the Teessiders to the Play-Offs.
Konstantopoulos came charging upfield in the hope of completing a fairytale comeback after Boro had recovered from falling 3-1 behind to level. But the ball was cleared and found its way to Ross McCormack, who had already scored two penalties, and the Scot completed his hat-trick by finding the unguarded net.
Karanka, when asked if he had given Konstantopoulos the signal to go up front, said: "Yes, because I felt that one point wasn't enough and we needed three points.
"Now I am sitting here at the table one point might have been enough but at that time I preferred to take risks so I told him to go.
"When you take a risk and you concede a goal the following day you can say that it was because you took a risk. But the problem with not taking a risk is that you will never know what would have happened if you did.
"It will be difficult now because Bournemouth have two more games and one win will be no problem.
"But our aim was to get into the Play-Offs. We wanted the Play-Offs two or three weeks ago."