FOOTBALL - Coventry City score twice in injury time to book Wembley place and reach FA Cup semi-finals for first time in 37 years - The Coventry Observer

FOOTBALL - Coventry City score twice in injury time to book Wembley place and reach FA Cup semi-finals for first time in 37 years

Coventry Editorial 16th Mar, 2024 Updated: 21st Mar, 2024   0

HAJI Wright’s 100th-minute goal sent Coventry City into the FA Cup semi-finals for the first time in 37 years following a stunning 3-2 upset win against Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Wright curled a low effort into the bottom right corner to complete a remarkable turnaround 10 minutes into injury time after Ellis Simms’ header levelled the game three minutes earlier.

That came after Wolves thought they had won the game through late goals from Rayan Ait-Nouri and Hugo Bueno after Simms opened the scoring on 53 minutes at Molineux.

However, in an extraordinary end to the contest, Coventry scored twice in injury time to spark wild scenes of celebration.

The FA Cup semi-final draw takes place on Sunday, March 17 live on ITV1 following the conclusion of Manchester United’s quarter-final tie against Liverpool.

Coventry more than matched Wolves in the opening quarter-hour and went close to the opening goal when Wright cut in from the left and curled a shot wide of the post.

The Sky Blues survived a scare just before the half-hour mark when Nelson Semedo caught Liam Kitching napping in the Coventry penalty area as City desperately scrambled the ball to safety.

Moments later, Mario Lemina played a superb pass into the path of Pablo Sarabia who cut the ball back to Semedo with Brad Collins equal to the defener’s pwoerful effort.

Coventry somehow failed to take the lead on 35 minutes when Jake Bidwell squared the ball into the path of Ellis Simms who miscued his effort into the legs of Jose Sa with the goal at his mercy from four-yards out.

That came after Sa tipped Kasey Palmer’s low shot into the path of Bidwell although replays showed the Coventry full back came back from an offside position before squaring the ball to Simms.

And the Sky Blues missed another gilt-edged chance minutes later when Simms slipped the ball into the path of Milan van Ewijk who saw his shot saved behind by Sa when one-on-one inside the box.

City enjoyed a good spell of pressure in the Wolves half before the break and spurned another chance when Palmer volleyed the ball straight at Sa when well-placed in the box as the two teams went into the break goalless.

The visitors created another chance at the start of the second half when Bidwell won back possession and Wright curled a short narrolwy over the crossbar from distance.

And Coventry’s pressure finally told on 53 minutes when Simms forced the ball home at the back post after Kitching headed Palmer’s excellent cross into the striker’s path at the back post with the goal awarded following a lengthy VAR check for handball.

Wolves looked for a way back into the game and almost drew level just past the hour mark when Tommy Doyle curled a free-kick inches past the post from 25-yards out.

City almost doubled their lead when Sa kept out Wright’s powerful effort with his feet and then pushed away Eccles shot before Palmer’s precise shot travelled agonisingly wide with the Wolves goalkeeper beaten.

Sky Blues goalkeeper Bradley Collins then made a stunning save to tip Joao Gomes’ powerful drive onto the post and behind for a corner.

From the resulting corner, Semedo was fortunate to escape punishment after catching City substitute Callum O’Hare in the face with his boot as the pair competed for a high ball.

Wolves hit the post again soon after when Matt Doherty headed the ball into the path of Rayan Ait-Nouri who nodded against the woodwork from a tight angle.

However, City had chances to extend their lead when Simms smashed a shot straight at Sa before the Wolves stopper pushed O’Hare’s fine effort to safety.

And the visitors went close again moments later when Sa saved Kitching’s effort at the near post from Bidwell’s excellent cross from the left.

However, Wolves equalised six minutes from time when the ball bounced off Joel Latibeaudiere and Ait-Nouri volleyed home from eight-yards out.

And the home side completed the turnaround three minutes from time when substitute Hugo Bueno coolly found the bottom right corner from Ait-Nouri’s through ball.

However, there was still time for Coventry to score a drmaric equaliser seven minutes into injury time when Simms nodded in at the back post from Bobby Thomas’s flick-on.

And in a remerkable end to the game, Wright’s low effort from Simms’ lay-off found the bottom right corner in the 100th minute to spark wild scenes of celebration and send Coventry back to Wembley for the second time in as many seasons.

Backed by nearly 5,000 away fans, Coventry can now look forward to a first FA Cup semi-final since they famously won the competition in 1987.

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