Sunday, September 22, 2019

Wolves 2-1 Torino (5-3 agg): Jimenez, Dendoncker ensure Europa League spot

SoccerNews in UEFA Europa League 29 Aug 2019

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Wolves marched into the Europa League group stages with a 2-1 win over Torino at Molineux on Thursday, which secured a 5-3 aggregate victory.

Raul Jimenez’s sixth Europa League goal of the qualifying campaign put Nuno Espirito Santo’s side ahead after 30 minutes, after what had been a promising start from the visitors.

Andrea Belotti hauled Torino level shortly before the hour, though hopes of a comeback were swiftly extinguished by Leander Dondoncker’s crisp finish.

With their place in a first major European competition since 1980-81 now secure, Wolves will turn their focus to Sunday’s clash with Everton as they search for a first Premier League win of the season.

Torino made a bright start, Daniele Baselli going close before Tomas Rincon drilled wide on the volley.

Adama Traore was in the mood for Wolves, however, and after forcing Salvatore Sirigu into a save, the former Barcelona winger teed up the opening goal.

Having crafted space down the right, Traore thumped in a low cross that Jimenez smartly turned home.

Simone Zaza should have restored parity before the interval, but Belotti made no such mistake 12 minutes after the restart.

Baselli delivered a wonderful free-kick, and Belotti glanced a fine header beyond Rui Patricio.

Torino were level on the night for just 58 seconds – Dendoncker restoring Wolves’ two-goal aggregate cushion with a fine first-time finish that clipped in off the post.

Soualiho Meite’s powerful effort had Patricio beaten late on, but Wolves’ luck was in as the strike flashed wide, and they will now find out who awaits them in the group stages in Friday’s draw.

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