Sunday 20

Wolverhampton Wanderers

Wolves 0-1 Sporting Braga

19th September 2019, 23:14 by Enda McElhinney

Wolves long-awaited return to the European stage was spoiled as Sporting Braga grabbed all three points at Molineux with a swift second half counter attack.

The Midlands side dominated possession in their first appearance on the main stage of a European competition since 1980, but a sloppy pass from Ryan Bennett allowed Braga to steal a vital advantage with the only goal of the game.

Ricardo Horta, scorer of three goals in qualifying, lashed home a powerful shot off an upright to send the tiny pocket of travelling fans into delirium.

The defeat was a third in succession for Nuno Espirito Santo’s team after Premier League losses against Everton and Chelsea.

Molineux was rocking for Wolves return to European football after 39 years but the first half was a subdued affair; the home side bossing possession without managing to create too many decent scoring chances. The high-tempo game that served Wolves so well last season didn’t get going.

Leander Dendoncker had the best chance of the night for the hosts not long after half-time, but his effort from close range was saved Matheus in the Braga goal.

Braga rarely threatened, with their only shot on target in the first 70 minutes a tame Paulinho effort. Wolves meanwhile were growing in stature the longer the contest wore on.

The game was being played more and more in the Braga half but, on 71 minutes, disaster for the Premier League side.

Bennett’s casual pass from just inside his own half was seized upon by Wanderson Galeno. The forward was able to drive at the retreating defence and, with option to choose from inside the box, he picked out the perfect low pass into the path of Horta.

The winger had time to control and steady himself before driving a powerful shot in off Rui Patricio’s upright.

Braga, Europa League finalists in 2011, were camped in their own half as the clock wound down but Wolves couldn’t find the leveller, Raul Jimenez flicking a header wide of goal in the final minute of stoppage time.

In the other Group K clash, Slovan Bratislava came from behind on their own patch to overcome Besiktas 4-2.

This article originated on sportinastorm.com

Enda McElhinney describes himself as a sports nut, with an interest in many. His favourite sports are being horse racing, golf and football.

More Wolverhampton Wanderers

Wolverhampton Wanderers

Doherty still working towards fitness

17th October 2019, 10:53

Wolves star Matt Doherty says he is still not yet fully fit after battling a knee injury throughout the summer.

Wolverhampton Wanderers

Nuno talks up ‘fighter’ Cutrone

15th October 2019, 13:59

Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo has talked up the qualities of "fighter" Patrick Cutrone, who is yet to hit top form since arriving at Molineux.

Wolverhampton Wanderers

Emerging English clubs a big draw now

15th October 2019, 13:01

On-loan defender Jesus Vallejo’s comments that he chose Wolves over many other clubs proves it is not just the top-six that are a draw in the Premier League.

Wolverhampton Wanderers

Craddock cannot get enough of Boly

14th October 2019, 12:57

Former Wolves captain Jody Craddock has hailed current Molineux stalwart Willy Boly as the complete defender.

Wolverhampton Wanderers

Gibbs-White provides positive fitness update

11th October 2019, 14:33

Wolverhampton Wanderers midfielder Morgan Gibbs-White has revealed he will be back to full fitness when his team-mates return from international duty.

Wolverhampton Wanderers

Doherty keen for more Ireland caps

10th October 2019, 10:03

Wolves defender Matt Doherty appears philosophical about his international career but admits he would like to win more caps.

Recent Sport Headlines

AC Milan

Donnarumma wanted by PSG

20th October 2019, 20:14

PSG are preparing to launch a fresh bid to sign AC Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma in January.

Borussia Dortmund

Dropping Sancho was a “disciplinary measure” – Favre

20th October 2019, 19:52

Lucien Favre says Jadon Sancho has served his punishment for lateness and is now back in contention to play.

Rugby Union

Springboks must improve to lift World Cup - Erasmus

20th October 2019, 19:37

South Africa have been warned by coach Rassi Erasmus that they will not win the Rugby World Cup if they don't improve their play.


Shapovalov secures first title in Stockholm

20th October 2019, 19:25

Denis Shapovalov defeated Filip Krajinovic in the Stockholm Intrum Open final as he secured the first title of his career.

Rugby Union

Beaten Japan will 'get stronger' - Leitch

20th October 2019, 19:15

Captain Michael Leitch is backing Japan to continue improving after their 26-3 defeat to South Africa in the World Cup quarter-finals.

Rugby League

Minikin treble helps Knights see off Jamaica

20th October 2019, 19:12

England Knights defeated Jamaica 38-6 at Headingley on Sunday with Greg Minikin grabbing a hat-trick.


India hammer home advantage on Proteas

20th October 2019, 19:09

India put in a sensational performance on day two of their third Test with South Africa to declare on 497-9.

Crystal Palace

Hodgson proud of Crystal Palace despite defeat

20th October 2019, 19:00

Crystal Palace coach Roy Hodgson was quick to praise his players despite their 2-0 defeat to Manchester City on Saturday.