Raul Jimenez put Wolves on the brink of the Europa League knockout stages as his injury-time strike secured victory against Slovan Bratislava at Molineux.
The game looked to be heading towards a stalemate after Bratislava goalkeeper Dominik Greif kept out Ruben Neves’ penalty early in the second half.
However, Jimenez headed in Adama Traore’s cross to take the points.
Wolves are second in Group K with nine points, five ahead of Bratislava in third with just two games remaining.
Nuno Espírito Santo’s side needs just a point to progress to the next round.
The winning goal came in the second of 12 minutes of injury time, which was as a result of a lengthy period of treatment for Bratislava’s Kenan Bajric, who had been caught by Jimenez’s boot when he attempted an overhead kick.
Bajric had to be taken off on a stretcher after appearing not to move while on the pitch but was reported to be conscious when he was assessed further by medical staff in the tunnel.
Jimenez was booked for the challenge and, after scoring the winner, his celebration was muted, clasping his hands together in a similar fashion to Tottenham forward Son Heung-min after he scored against Red Star Belgrade in the Champions League earlier this week.
Son was apologetic after that 4-0 win for his tackle which led to Everton midfielder Andre Gomes’ horrific ankle injury on Sunday.
Jimenez told BT Sport: “It is difficult for all of us. I don’t know what to say. I hope he recovers well.”
Wolves’ form in the Premier League this season has been inconsistent with seven draws, two wins and two defeats but in Europe, they have been impressively strong.
After losing their Europa League opener to Sporting Braga they have now won their last three games in succession – the first time they have managed that since winning their opening six games in the 1971-72 Uefa Cup.
They went on to reach the final of that competition and while there is still a long way to go for them to repeat such a feat in this competition, they have certainly not looked out of place against some seasoned European opposition.
The hosts could have won this game by a bigger margin but for some excellent goalkeeping by Greif.
As well as diving the right way to deny Neves, the Bratislava shot-stopper also displayed quick reactions to keep out Joao Moutinho’s deflected strike and then superbly denied Matt Doherty’s close-range volley.
Wolves, though, have shown impressive resilience this season. Their past 11 goals have all come in the second half and they scored a dramatic last-minute winner against Besiktas in September through Willy Boly. This time it was Jimenez who was Wolves’ hero as he scored his 12th goal of the campaign.
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Source – BBC
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