- Championship side Ipswich Town hosted Premier League side Wolves in the Carabao Cup
- Ipswich headed into the match in great form and hopes of making to the last-16
- Despite going 2-0 down, the hosts came from behind to win 3-2 to book a slot in the last-16 for the first time since 2010
Ipswich Town, led by manager Kieran McKenna, pulled off a remarkable comeback in the Carabao Cup third round by defeating Wolves 3-2 at Portman Road, adding another accolade to McKenna’s growing reputation as a talented coach.
The Ipswich side, featuring several less-heralded players, found themselves trailing 2-0 against Premier League outfit Wolves within the first 15 minutes of the match, as Hwang Hee-Chan and Toti found the net. However, this defeat marked a fifth loss in eight matches for Wolves under their new manager, Gary O’Neil.
The Ipswich comeback was initiated by Omari Hutchinson, who delivered a splendid finish in the 28th minute. Freddie Ladapo then ensured that the score was level at halftime. Shortly after the break, Jack Taylor’s remarkable 25-yard strike secured Ipswich’s victory, giving former Manchester United assistant manager McKenna his first win over a top-flight club.
Both teams made a total of 20 changes for this match, but it was Hwang, a regular starter for Wolves, who opened the scoring in the fourth minute. Dominic Ball of Ipswich was at fault as he could only clear Pablo Sarabia’s cross to Sasa Kalajdzic, who then assisted the unmarked Hwang. The left-footed strike by Hwang proved too powerful for Vaclav Hladky, silencing the Portman Road crowd.
The match was 2-0 in favor of Wolves after 15 minutes when Sarabia’s dangerous corner found Santiago Bueno on his full debut. While Hladky made a superb save from point-blank range, Wolves’ defender Toti was there to capitalize on slack Ipswich defending, smashing home from close range.
Although Ipswich’s earlier narrative of defeating a Premier League side was not unfolding as planned, the tide began to turn midway through the first half, with Hutchinson narrowing the deficit in the 28th minute. Hutchinson, on loan from Chelsea, received a pass from Marcus Harness and found the back of the net from eight yards with his weaker right foot.
Hutchinson’s strong left-footed effort next forced Wolves’ goalkeeper Dan Bentley into action, as he managed to tip the 20-yard free-kick over the bar. Ipswich was making a strong impression, and the equalizer came six minutes before halftime, courtesy of Ladapo. The backup forward for Ipswich was set up by Harness, and his low strike, while met by Bentley’s hand, could not prevent the hosts from leveling the score.
At the start of the second half, Harness fired a shot that deflected wide, signaling Ipswich’s intentions. Although Matt Doherty had a shot blocked for Wolves shortly after, the fifth goal of the match belonged to Ipswich. Harness was once again the provider, but it was former Peterborough midfielder Taylor who stole the show. He received the ball around 25 yards out and unleashed a powerful shot that flew past Bentley.
In response, O’Neil introduced Matheus Cunha along with forwards Fabio Silva and Nathan Fraser, but it was Ipswich’s night. A low save by Hladky from Bueno’s header in the 73rd minute helped secure Ipswich’s place in the last 16 of the Carabao Cup for the first time since 2010.