Wolverhampton Wanderers came through a penalty shootout against Reading to book their place in the fourth round of the League Cup.
A 99th minute equaliser from Lucas Boye had taken the game to penalties after Jose Gomes’ men were rewarded for their late pressure against ten-man Wolves after Meritan Shabani went off injured.
Both sides made wholesale changes going into the clash and the Royals settled quickly, with the impressive Lucas Boye firing at John Ruddy after a ball over the top.
That wasn’t a sign of things to come for the visitors though, with the Premier League team gradually taking control.
Keeper Joao Virginia, in for regular Rafael, stopped well from Patrick Cutrone, however he was at fault after 27 minutes when Wolves took the lead.
The Italian striker beat Charlie Adam and set summer signing Bruno Jordao with a decent chance about 25 yards from goal. He let fly with a strong strike but the on-loan Everton man should have stopped it with ease.
That goal really settled Wolves and they began to move the ball well, with the lively Pedro Neto and Morgan Gibbs-White causing problems.
There was a setback for Nuno Espirito Santo when Jordao was stretchered off before the break, with 18-year-old Taylor Perry handed his debut as a replacement.
After a slow second half, Gomes’ decision to bring on John Swift and Ovie Ejaria made a real difference, with the Royals switching from a back three to 4-3-3 as a result.
They helped the Berkshire outfit control more of the ball and when George Puscas came on for defender Teddy Howe, they had much more of a threat.
It was Matt Doherty to have the next big chance though, with the wing-back heading wide when well-placed from a Neto cross. As the game opened up, Yakou Meite then saw a header cleared off the line by Ryan Bennett.
Yet, a key moment in the game came late on, when Shabani, another making his debut, was stretchered off to leave Wolves with ten men, or kids in some cases.
It was real backs-to-the-wall stuff by the time the fourth official had added nine minutes on and Cutrone limping around didn’t help Wolves’ cause at all.
In a frantic finale, Puscas saw a close-range effort saved by Ruddy before Ejaria had a low drive tipped away.
The pressure would tell though, with basically the last kick of the game. The ball was worked out to Swift, he put in a sublime rabona cross to give Boye the simple task of heading home. It was the first goal Wolves had conceded in this competition under Santo.
So, it was to penalties, something that sparked Molineux into life.
Puscas and Ruben Neves had scored, Swift saw his effort saved and Jesus Vallejo ensured the Premier League side took advantage.
Then, the classy Boye skied his effort and when Bennett sent Virginia the wrong way, the Black Country side had one foot in the next round. Matt Miazga scored but Ruben Vinagre netted to make it four from four for Wolves and ensure they progressed.