Europa League: Wolves’ qualifying quest starts with home win

Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images
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Wolverhampton Wanderers’ 2019-20 campaign is officially underway after kicking off their Europa League qualification quest with a 2-0 victory over Northern Irish side Crusaders at Molineux Stadium on Thursday.

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Diogo Jota appears intent on building upon a strong first season at Wolves (nine goals in 33 Premier League appearances) with an even better sophomore campaign. The Portuguese forward opened the scoring with a sweetly struck half-volley in the 37th minute.

Another Portuguese youngster, Ruben Vinagre, joined Jota on the scoresheet in the 90th minute. The Crusaders goalkeeper fumbled the ball inside the six-yard box and Vinagre was in the perfect position to tap it home from nearly the goal line and double Wolves’ advantage as they go away from home for the second leg next week.

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Head coach Nuno Espirito Santo fielded the same starting 11 that won the Premier League Asia Trophy by beating Manchester City on penalty kicks last weekend.

Thursday’s notable Europa League results

Espanyol 4-0 Stjarnan
Torino 3-0 Debrecen
Flora Tallin 1-2 Eintracht Frankfurt
Rangers 2-0 Progres Niederkorn