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Pre-season Sporting Lisbon 1 Wolves 1 - Report

A penalty apiece saw Wolves draw 1-1 in a competitive clash with Sporting in Portugal.

Ruben Neves scores (Getty)
Ruben Neves scores (Getty)

Playing at the Estadio Algarve near Faro, both sides made a good start in what was an intense game.

Wolves took the lead when Ruben Neves converted a penalty after 15 minutes, but on the stroke of half-time Sporting were handed a spot-kick of their own.

Former Wolves winger Pedro Goncalves converted it in the last action of the half.

The second half was a cagey and fiery affair, with several bookings, but neither side could force through a winner as Wolves settled for a draw.

Pedro Neto (Getty)

Bruno Lage’s side started in a 4-3-3 formation in their last big test before the Premier League season begins.

The head coach made a big call in leaving captain Conor Coady on the bench as he opted for a centre-back pairing of Nathan Collins and Max Kilman.

Raul Jimenez is sidelined with a knee injury, meaning Daniel Podence started in the false nine position.

Fosun chairman Guo Guangchang was also in attendance for his first Wolves game since the pandemic.

For Sporting, there were two familiar faces in former Wolves players Goncalves and Francisco Trincao. Midfielder Matheus Nunes, who has been linked with a move to Wolves, also started.

The first chance fell to Trincao after a poor pass from Neves handed the winger the ball. He ran at Rayan Ait-Nouri and cut onto his left foot, but shot over the bar.

In a fairly even start to the game Wolves also had chances. A Morgan Gibbs-White cross found Leander Dendoncker who shot wide at the far post.

Wolves then took the lead after 15 mins from the penalty spot. Pedro Neto was twisting and turning on the left flank and was brought down in the box by Goncalo Inacio. Neves stepped up to take the spot kick with Jimenez unavailable and send goalkeeper Franco Israel the wrong way.

A good Wolves move started with Jonny Castro Otto from a throw-in and ended with Podence pulling the ball back for Joao Moutinho, but the midfielder fired over the bar from the edge of the box.

Jose Sa (Getty)

A swift Wolves counter-attack then had Neto bearing down on goal and his shot, from inside the box, was deflected wide.

The Sporting fans, who travelled in their numbers, were furious when they had a big call for a penalty. A very poor back pass from Neto had Paulinho racing into the box and Neves seemed to pull him back, but referee Bruno Vieira waved away the appeals.

The Portuguese side began to create more opportunities and a tidy counter-attack saw Trincao have an effort deflected wide.

With half-time fast approaching, Sporting were handed a penalty when Collins brought down Paulinho. Former Wolves man Goncalves stepped up to smash it into the bottom corner. It was a shame for Collins who had impressed in defence until that moment.

That was the last major action of the half as the two sides entered half-time drawing 1-1 in a competitive and even game.

Early in the second half, the tremendous Ait-Nouri had a coming together with Pedro Porro, as both players exchanged shoves and were both booked.

In a fiery start to the half Paulinho was then booked for a poor tackle on Kilman before Podence and Hidemasa Morita got into a scuffle. They, too, were both handed yellow cards.

Sporting did have a good opportunity when Porro took aim, but Jose Sa was equal to it with a strong save.

Wolves were finding it more difficult to keep hold of the ball and sustain attacks as the game entered the 65th minute, but both clubs were still locked at 1-1.

After 66 minutes, Hwang Hee-chan made his first pre-season appearance when he replaced Neto.

Trincao should have scored when he was set up from 12 yards, but he curled his effort wide of the post.

Morgan Gibbs-White (Getty)

Chem Campbell and Coady came on after 82 minutes, in replace of Gibbs-White and Kilman. The latter was forced off after suffering a knock.

Hwang had a huge chance when he was played through on goal and rounded the goalkeeper. He shot on the turn but Matheus Reis recovered to clear the ball off the line.

At the other end, substitute Abdul Fatawu came close but blazed over the bar, as Sporting threatened.

A big chance fell to Sebastian Coates when a corner found his towering header, but he directed it beyond the post.

After four minutes of added time neither side could break the deadlock as the score finished 1-1.

Wolves: Sa, Jonny, Collins, Kilman (Coady, 82), Ait-Nouri (Bueno, 89), Neves, Dendoncker, Moutinho, Gibbs-White (Campbell, 82), Podence, Neto (Hwang, 66).

Subs not used: Smith, Mosquera, Boly, Gomes, Ronan, Cundle, Hodge, Griffiths.

Sporting: Israel, Porro (Esgaio, 78), Coates, Inacio, Reis, Morita, Nunes, Santos, Goncalves (Rochinha, 83), Trincao (Fatawu, 83), Paulinho (Edwards, 68).

Subs not used: St Juste, Tabata, Neto, Paulo, Calai, Essugo.

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