Coventry stun Wolves in FA Cup thriller to reach semi-finals after Haji Wright winner

The USA international struck in the 100th minute to send the Championship side into the last four at Wembley for the first time since 1987

Jonathan Veal
Saturday 16 March 2024 15:21 GMT
Coventry’s Haji Wright celebrates scoring the added-time winner at Molineux
Coventry’s Haji Wright celebrates scoring the added-time winner at Molineux (PA)

Coventry stunned Premier League Wolves with two goals in injury time to seal an amazing 3-2 win and book a first FA Cup semi-final appearance since 1987.

The Sky Blues went on to win the competition that year in one of the most famous finals ever and they kept their hopes of another unlikely triumph this season alive after a remarkable climax at Molineux.

It looked like they would be leaving with broken hearts after goals in the final 10 minutes, from Rayan Ait-Nouri and Hugo Bueno, overturned Ellis Simms’s opener and seemed to set a Wembley date for Wolves.

But the Championship side were not done and in nine minutes of time added on they turned the quarter-final tie around again, with Simms grabbing a second and then Haji Wright earning himself folklore by grabbing the winner.

It was a dramatic ending to a breathless derby, which the visitors probably deserved to win.

Coventry survived a couple of early scares as Mario Lemina and Nelson Semedo missed chances, but having absorbed the pressure, the visitors missed a golden chance of their own to go ahead and Simms will not want reminding of it.

After Jose Sa had palmed Kasey Palmer’s shot into the path of Jake Bidwell, the wing-back set up a simple tap-in from close range after rolling the ball across goal, but Simms got his feet in a mess and somehow put his shot straight at Sa.

The momentum had suddenly switched and two more glorious chances came for Coventry before half time as Simms played in Milan van Ewijk. He looked primed to score until Sa made a fine block and the Wolves keeper was grateful to an unmarked Palmer for cushioning the ball straight at him.

Rayan Ait-Nouri (centre) takes the plaudits after his late equaliser for Wolves
Rayan Ait-Nouri (centre) takes the plaudits after his late equaliser for Wolves (Reuters)

The Sky Blues finally made the breakthrough eight minutes after the restart as Simms made amends for his earlier howler.

Liam Kitching headed a free kick back across the area to the far post where Simms appeared to bundle the ball in with his arm.

The goal survived a lengthy four-minute VAR check to give the travelling supporters a second chance to celebrate.

They should have been celebrating another goal soon after as their side bombarded Wolves’ goal.

Sa had to make a double save, first keeping out Wright’s effort with his feet and then parrying a Josh Eccles effort from the rebound.

Simms and Wright celebrate Coventry’s 100th-minute winner
Simms and Wright celebrate Coventry’s 100th-minute winner (Mike Egerton/PA Wire)

After Sa then rolled the ball to Matt Doherty, the Republic of Ireland wing-back was dispossessed in a dangerous area and Palmer put a shot agonisingly wide.

They could have done with one of those chances going in as the inevitable Wolves onslaught came in the final 20 minutes.

Joao Gomes saw a vicious effort tipped onto the post by Bradley Collins and Ait-Nouri hit the other post with a header soon after.

But Wolves remained ragged at the other end and only a one-man show from Sa stopped Coventry from killing the tie.

The Portugal keeper pulled off three big saves to keep the score at 1-0, palming away efforts from Simms and Callum O’Hare and then denying Kitching at close range.

And he was rewarded as Wolves levelled in the 83rd minute when Joel Latibeaudiere could not clear a cross and Ait-Nouri slammed home the loose ball.

The writing appeared on the wall for Coventry as Ait-Nouri surged forward and played in Bueno, who made no mistake.

But in the sixth minute of time added on, Simms headed home at the far post after Bobby Thomas had flicked on Bidwell’s cross.

There was still time for more drama as, in the 100th minute, Simms teed up Wright to steer Coventry to a famous victory.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in