WOLVES left Slovan Bratislava’s kid-army bubbling like cry-babies after two goals in four minutes ruined their big night out.
However pity help the poor schoolteachers of Bratislava tomorrow when their classrooms are invaded by scores of cranky pupils who were allowed to stay up way past their usual bedtime.
Fortunately for Wolves it was Slovan’s defence who nodded off for four crucial second-half minutes, allowing Nuno Espirito Santo’s side to cash in and come from behind to seize second spot in Group K.
Romain Saiss’s long-range bobbler took a helpful kick-off a horrendous home pitch to deceive the appropriately named Slovan goalie Dominik Greif, who allowed the ball to spin over him and nestle in his net.
Four minutes later Wolves forged in front when Ruben Vinagre’s low cross caused panic in the Bratislava box and left-back Vernon De Marco wrestled sub Diego Jota to the turf to concede a stonewall penalty.
Fittingly, it was Raul Jimenez – sporting Wolves Mexican-inspired green, red and white third kit – who stepped forward and calmly waited for Greif to make his move before casually stroking his spot-kick home.
Wolves suffered a late wobble when Jota was sent off for scything down Vasil Bozhikov to earn his second yellow card of the night.
But the men from Molineux held on amid a deafening din created by 20,000 raucous youngsters.
It was cruel justice on a Slovan side who caused their Premier League opponents plenty of problems in a first-half which they dominated.
The home side went in ahead at the break after Liverpool daft striker Andraz Sporar raced on to a searching through ball from Rabiu Ibrahim.
Conor Coady gave chase but the £1.2million striker – the costliest player in the history of the Slovak game – outwitted him with a stunning left-foot snapshot which took Rui Patricio by surprise.
The Portuguese keeper was rooted to the spot but may have been deceived by the faintest of deflections off Coady’s left boot.
However the introduction of speed-merchant Adama Traore for Patrick Cutrone at half-time added some much needed pace to Wolves attack and gradually the tide turned.
Morgan Gibbs-White scuffed a great chance on front of goal to equalise just after the break and Vinagre lashed a shot just over as Wolves stepped up their efforts.
But it certainly wasn’t child’s play as the Slovak threatened throughout, thanks to Sporar the scorer.
And the 25-year-old, who once had a trial with Spurs, missed his side’s best chance of an equaliser after 70 minutes when his low shot was blocked by Patricio’s legs.
In the end the kids went home exhausted after giving everything they had to create a unique atmosphere – full of Mexican waves, dancing, and jumping around as they lapped up the occasion.
The home side stuck two fingers up to Uefa by packing their 21,000-capacity stadium with a bunch of hyper kids aged 14 and under for this ‘closed doors,’ fixture, to exploit a loophole in Uefa’s own rules following a ban for racist chants.
It has to be said the kids were a breath of fresh air, even though most of their voices have yet to break.
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It all created an atmosphere more like a boy band in concert and Nuno will have earache like the rest of us after being subjected to the constant din for 90 minutes.
The 21,000 boisterous little Brats – no offence intended – represent the future of the game and they were a credit to their club. Adults, take note!
However in the end it was Wolves who left with another precious three points to clock up their fifth win on the road in this season’s competition.