EFL Cup: Ipswich 3 Wolves 2 - Report
Wolves' miserable start to the season took another terrible turn as they gave up a 2-0 lead to crash out of the Carabao Cup at the hands of Ipswich.
The Championship side were hit from all directions in the first half when Hwang Hee-chan opened the scoring after four minutes, to take his tally to four goals in the opening seven games.
Toti Gomes scored only his second for the club after 15 minutes to make it 2-0, with Wolves firmly in control of the contest.
But their dominance began to slip away as the half progressed, and the hosts grew into the game.
Omari Hutchinson's equaliser got them under way, before Freddie Ladapo equalised before the break, with Wolves' defence all at sea.
The second half also started slowly from a Wolves perspective, before Jack Taylor smashed home a third from long range.
Wolves made changes in an attempt to get back into the game, with a wealth of attacking talent introduced, and although they got more of a grip on proceedings, they hardly looked close to equalising.
To no surprise, Wolves were unable to get back into the game and were condemned to an embarrassing Carabao Cup defeat, at the third round stage.
Gary O’Neil made 10 changes following the league draw with Luton and switched to a 4-2-3-1 formation.
Hwang was the only player to keep his place, while Santi Bueno came in for his debut.
O’Neil made a big decision to keep Fabio Silva benched, after he was an unused substitute at the weekend.
Kieran McKenna also made 10 changes to his Ipswich side, following their good start to the Championship season.
It took Wolves less than four minutes to open the scoring when Sasa Kalajdzic’s lovely pass found Hwang on the left flank, and his powerful shot was fired into the far corner.
Out of possession, Wolves were switching to a back five with Matt Doherty tucking in, as they kept Ipswich quiet in the opening stages.
A comfortable start became even more dominant when Wolves made it 2-0 after 15 minutes. A corner was met by S.Bueno on his debut, but his free header from close range was saved by Vaclav Hladky into the path of Toti, who smashed home the rebound.
Wolves were still very comfortable in the fixture and were coasting, until one ball unlocked their defence. Hutchinson was found behind S.Bueno and he finished at the near post.
Ipswich were having more control of the fixture and forcing Dan Bentley into some smart saves to keep Wolves’ lead.
That pressure finally paid off when a ball was squeezed into Ladapo’s feet, he turned and shot as the ball went through Bentley and into the bottom corner to make it 2-2.
The two teams entered the break drawing 2-2 after Wolves relinquished their dominant lead.
Ipswich started the second half where they left the first and attacked instantly, with Marcus Harness seeing an effort deflect just wide.
Wolves settled and saw much more of the ball, with Hwang looking dangerous down the left, but they were struggling to create a clear chance.
After 58 minutes the deadlock was broken as the hosts took the lead. Taylor picked the ball up from the edge of the box and smashed it home, with some suggestions Bentley could have done better
Following the goal, O’Neil turned to 18-year-old striker Nathan Fraser and Matheus Cunha, as Kalajdzic and Pablo Sarabia made way. It was another blow for Silva, who remained on the bench. However, he was then introduced eight minutes later.
Wolves’ introduced attacking talents gave the side a bit more control of the fixture, yet they were still searching for an opening.
S.Bueno thought he had found it from close range when he met a corner with a header, but Hladky saved it when the Wolves defender could have done better.
By the 75th minute, and with all of O’Neil’s substitutes used, the game seemed to be slipping away from Wolves as they grafted for a way back into the game.
Cunha had an effort from range after some neat footwork, but he was unable to direct it on target.
In fact, it was Ipswich that looked closest to scoring again as they pressed forward and forced a Wolves team lacking in confidence into a string of mistakes.
A free-kick caused problems in the Ipswich box and almost fell to a Wolves player at the back post, but luck was not on their side.
In the end they fell to defeat, as boos rang out from an angry away end.
O’Neil now faces two home league games against Manchester City and Villa, as he looks to get Wolves’ season back on track.
GOAL 4 Hwang puts Wolves ahead
GOAL 15 Toti makes it 2-0
GOAL 28 Hutchinson pulls one back for Ipswich
GOAL 39 Ladapo equalises
GOAL 58 Taylor puts Ipswich ahead
Wolves: Bentley, Jonny, Doherty, S.Bueno, Toti, H.Bueno (Ait-Nouri, 45), Traore, Doyle (Gomes, 73), Hwang (Silva, 69), Sarabia (Cunha, 61), Kalajdzic (Fraser, 61).
Subs not used: King, Kilman, Hodge, Gonzalez.
Ipswich: Hladky, Ball, Edmundson, Baggott, Williams, Evans, Taylor (Burns, 81), Jackson, Harness (Aluko, 70), Hutchinson (Humphreys, 70), Ladapo (Hirst, 70).
Subs not used: Slicker, Donacien, Woolfenden, Luongo, Chaplin.