MATCH REPORT: WOLVES 2 CAMBRIDGE UNITED 1
Cambridge United produced a courageous performance against Championship outfit Wolves, but were knocked out at the second round of the EFL Cup following a 2-1 defeat at Molineux.
Medy Elito pegged back the home side on 14 minutes who took an early 2-0 lead in the fixture through Helder Costa and Jed Wallace, and Shaun Derry’s side battled hard for the remainder of the clash with the West Midlands side holding out to progress.
Max Clark, Ben Williamson and Blair Adams returned to the U’s starting line-up.
Despite a steady start from United, Wolves showed their quality early with a slick passing move which ended with Jed Wallace whipping a cross across goal from the right wing and into the path of Helder Costa who gave Wolves a 1-0 advantage inside seven minutes.
Shaun Derry’s men would have had an equaliser almost instantly were it not for a magnificent save from Wolves keeper Andy Lonergan, who was at full stretch to palm away Luke Berry’s drive from eight yards out.
However, Walter Zenga’s men made it double trouble for the U’s on 12 minutes, when Wallace again fired a low cross into the United six yards which bounced off several shins and past Will Norris.
The U’s were not deterred though and this time did find a response quickly. Ben Williamson harried the Wolves centre back pairing of Huase and Iorfa, forcing a mistake, which Medy Elito took full advantage of by scoring his first goal for United.
A highly entertaining first half continued with the U’s producing some exquisite periods of passing play.
Will Norris came to the rescue midway through the opening 45 minutes, when he was sharp off his line to save one-on-one against Jed Wallace to ensure the deficit remained at just one goal.
A flying header from Luke Berry and a sliced shot from Mingoia, who found himself with space to run into on the right wing on a number occasions, had the Wolves defence stretched before the break, whilst Teixeira put Norris to the test at the other end of the field.
A succession of corners for the U’s ensured that Shaun Derry’s men continued their momentum in the second half, which was increased further when Will Norris made it two penalty saves out of two for the season, when got his hands to James Henry’s spot kick on 56 minutes.
A golden opportunity fell the way of Piero Mingoia shortly after the hour mark, as the ball dropped kindly for the man who had scored the stunning strike against Sheffield Wednesday in the previous round to set up the tie at Molineux, but he drilled over from 10 yards out on this occasion.
U’s boss Shaun Derry brought on Joe Pigott and Jake Gosling during the final quarter of the match, in search of an equalising goal that would keep his side in the competition.
Leon Legge came closest when he glanced a header goalwards from a late corner that caused a sharp inhale of breath from around the ground by the Wolves support, but the effort drifted just wide.
Icelandic international Jon Dadi Bodvarsson caused problems in the closing stages as the U’s pushed for the leveller, but were unable to do so despite a valiant effort.
Cambridge United: Norris, Taylor, Legge, Coulson, Adams, Mingoia, Dunne (Newton, 45 mins), Clark (Gosling, 69 mins), Berry, Elito (Pigott, 64 mins), Williamson
Wolves: Lonergan, Henry, Saville, Wallace, Coady, Costa (Bodvarsson, 69 mins), Iorfa, Price, Oniangue (Edwards, 62 mins), Teixeira (Doherty, 57 mins), Hause
Goal: Costa, Wallace
Attendance: 9,500 (392 U’s fans)