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Campbell thunderbolt earns PL Cup last 16 spot

Leeds United 1 (Kamwa 27) Wolves 1 (Campbell 76)

Wolves under-23s booked their place in the last 16 of the Premier League Cup thanks to a Chem Campbell wonderstrike against Leeds United at York City’s Bootham Crescent.

The visitors had the first chance to get themselves in front when Renat Dadashov fired wide, before Andreas Sondergaard had to be alert to a Jordan Stevens cross which deflected off Lewis Richards.

Despite Wolves’ early pressure, it was Leeds who took the lead when Stevens got past the visiting defence to find Bobby Kamwa who fired past Sondergaard.

Wolves had an opportunity to get back into the game late in the first-half, with Owen Otasowie having his effort cleared off the line, while Dadashov played in Campbell early in the second period but Gaetano Berardi was able to make a challenge to deny the Welsh youth international.

In an improved second-half performance, Campbell teed up Taylor Perry, but his shot was also blocked, while Otasowie had another chance from the Perry free-kick but his low strike fell wide of the target.

The visitors’ pressure finally told in the 76th minute in spectacular style when Campbell struck an unstoppable shot into the top corner of the net from 25-yards out.

With the tide turning on the match, Wolves had further chances to win the game, with defender Lewis Richards striking wide from distance before having an header and a shot blocked as Wolves laid siege to the Leeds goal.

However, the hosts were able to hold on for a point, which was good enough for Wolves to secure their place in the last 16 of the Premier League Cup, with a game to spare.

REACTION

Under-23 head coach James Collins was pleased with the improved second-half performance of his young players. “It’s a tough place to go, on a difficult pitch, and Leeds are always a lively opponent as they bring in players from their first-team.

“It was always going to be a difficult tactical challenge for our boys, but after going a goal down in the first-half, we grew into the game. We got better and better in the second-half.

“I was disappointed with the first-half, but second-half was much better and we ended up getting the equaliser with a really top goal from Chem and after that, we were the ones who looked the most likely to win the game.

“The boys are improving and learning and now the January window’s out the way, our players have gone out, we’ve got a settled group now. It’s a small and young group, but we’re getting a chance to work together every day and we’re seeing the gradual improvement.”

COMING UP

Despite already qualifying for the next round, the under-23s are back in Premier League Cup action on Tuesday night as they host joint-Group H leaders Derby County at the Sir Jack Hayward Training Ground sponsored by Fosun International, where the winners will top the group and face one of the eight group runners-up in the last 16, while the second place side will travel to a group winner.

NEXT FIVE

25/02 Derby County (H) PLC

02/03 Tottenham Hotspur (A)

10/03 Nuneaton Borough (A) BSC

16/03 Derby County (H)

03/04 Chelsea (A)

TEAMS

Leeds: Caprile, Huggins, Berardi, Casey (Gotts 30), Struijk, Kenneh, Stevens (Hosannah 45), Jenkins, Kamwa, Bogusz (McCalmont 45), Poveda.

Unused subs: Male, Cresswell.

Wolves: Sondergaard, Nya, Otasowie, Marques, Bueno, Richards, Taylor, Loiodice, Perry, Campbell, Dadashov.

Subs: Young, Lonwijk, Mayounga, Cundle, Dongda He.

#WolvesAcademy