Report | Wolves 2-3 Coventry

Wolves 2 (Ait-Nouri 83, H Bueno 88) Coventry 3 (Simms 53 & 90+7, Wright 90+10)

Wolves’ FA Cup journey was ended in agonising circumstances, as Coventry City scored twice deep into injury time to progress to the semi-finals.

The Old Gold, playing without a plethora of key players, had fought back from falling behind to Ellis Simms’ bundled opener. Rayan Ait-Nouri had slammed home an equaliser, before laying in Hugo Bueno to slot Wolves in front with just two minutes remaining.

However, Gary O’Neil’s side couldn’t hold on. Simms headed home from close range seven minutes into added time and Haji Wright curled a brilliant finish home in the 100th minute to leave those in old gold devastated on the Molineux turf. The journey ends at the quarter-final stage.

A first FA Cup quarter-final in five years, doubling up as an all-midlands affair, meant we were always in for a lively Saturday lunchtime and both sides had openings in the first 15, but neither Coventry from a wicked Kasey Palmer cross or Wolves from Ait-Nouri’s early cut back, could force an early opening goal.

Wright had the first attempt, flashing wide of Jose Sa’s post, but a Wolves spell just before the half-hour mark should have brought the opening goal. Nelson Semedo was involved in the lot, keeping the ball in on the far side and laying off to Nathan Fraser, but his shot, as well as that of Ait-Nouri, was blocked, before Mario Lemina sliced the loose ball wide.

It was then Lemina who clipped a brilliant ball over the top for Sarabia and his lay off for Semedo was perfect, but the Portuguese fired his shot straight at Bradley Collins – either side of the goalkeeper and Wolves were looking at the opening goal.

Those chances were nothing compared to the one Coventry passed up on 35, however. Kasey Palmer’s shot deflected into the path of Josh Eccles, and he fired a cross in for Simms, who simply had to tap into the empty net, but the ball came off his heel and towards Sa, who was crucially able to save while grounded. A big let off for the hosts.

That wasn’t the only one of the half, either. From a Coventry counterattack, Wolves had the advancing Simms in a good position, but were unaware of the support of Milan van Ewijk, who steamed in and got his shot away, but Sa brilliantly flew out of his goal and diverted the ball just wide.

Wolves did have an opening on the stroke of half time but couldn’t squeeze the ball home. Lemina dug out a cross which came off Sarabia, and the ball ricocheted around the Coventry box for an age, before Fraser prodded the ball wide.

Half-time | Wolves 0-0 Coventry

The open nature of the first half continued into the second and both sides had early chances. Ait-Nouri exchanged passes with Lemina and fired wide with his right foot, while Wright blasted over for the visitors.

However, when the opening goal came, it was for the visitors. A deep free-kick was headed back across goal by Liam Kitching and bundled over the line by Simms. A long VAR check ensued, looking at a possible hand ball by the striker, but eventually, the check was complete and the goal was allowed to stand.

Somehow, that still wasn’t a wake up call and Wolves were let off the hook when Wright came inside and shot at Sa, before Palmer curled wide, after substitute Matt Doherty had been robbed of possession on the edge of the box.

Wolves still had their chances though and when Doherty headed Sarabia’s free-kick across invitingly for Ait-Nouri, the goal was gaping, but he didn’t get enough on his header which bounced back off the post.

However, time and time again the chances were falling to Coventry and Sa was bailing out his team. Twice he denied the Sky Blues, with the Old Gold inviting the pressure themselves by giving possession away. The biggest save of the lot came on 82 when he made himself big to deny Kitching at the near post.

Those saves became all the more crucial when Wolves dug deep and found an equaliser moments later. Joao Gomes found space down the right and Joel Latibeaudiere didn’t deal with it, allowing the ball to ricochet off him perfectly for Ait-Nouri to slam the loose ball into the back of the net. Back on level terms.

Sometimes in football, you just need that slice of luck, and moments after that equaliser, the tie was flipped on its head. Ait-Nouri, in his new winger role, magically worked his way on the charge and the weight of his pass for Bueno was perfect, and the Spaniard showed equal levels of composure to slot home. Queue pandemonium in the South Bank.

However, nine minutes added on, largely from the VAR check for Coventry’s first goal, would be Wolves’ downfall. A Coventry cross was headed on by Bobby Thomas and Simms was left unopposed at the back post to nod his side back on terms seven minutes into added time.

With extra-time then on the cards, that was quickly dashed away from Wolves too as the ball fell to Wright in the box and he used Maximilian Kilman to curl around him and into the far corner, beyond the dive of Sa. Old gold shirts were flat out on the pitch, devastated, as the journey comes to an end.

Full-time | Wolves 2-3 Coventry

Wolves | Sa, Semedo, Kilman, S Bueno, Toti (Doherty 60), Ait-Nouri, Doyle (H Bueno 73), Gomes, Lemina, Sarabia, Fraser (Chiwome 60).

Unused subs | Bentley, Traore, Lemina, Chirewa, Barnett, Holman.

Coventry | Collins, van Ewijk, Thomas, Latibeaudiere (Tavares 90), Kitching, Bidwell, Sheaf, Eccles (Torp 90), Palmer (O’Hare 70), Wright, Simms.

Unused subs | Wilson, Binks, Dasilva, Kelly, Godden, Andrews.