Wolverhampton 2-1 Cambridge Utd: Match Report
Helder Costa leads Wolves to EFL Cup review over Cambridge on full debut
Wolves forward Helder Costa sparkled on his full debut as he masterminded their 2-1 win against Cambridge in the EFL Cup at Molineux.
Costa, who is on a season-long loan from Benfica, scored one goal, created another and won a penalty as Walter Zenga's side saw off a spirited challenge from a Cambridge team who are propping up the Football League.
Costa gave Wolves a sixth minute lead that was doubled by Jed Wallace after 13 minutes.
Cambridge, who had beaten Sheffield Wednesday in the previous round, grabbed a lifeline through Medy Elito 60 seconds later but a second Championship scalp proved to be beyond them despite a battling second-half display.
Wolves should have ended their resistance in the 57th minute only for James Henry to see his penalty saved by Will Norris.
Wolves made the perfect start through Costa after some neat inter play between Prince Oniangue and Wallace.
Oniangue picked up the ball in the centre of midfield and released Wallace who went galloping down the left-wing.
His cross was pin-point perfect for the on-rushing Costa who had the simple task of steering the ball home at the far post.
It would have been easy for Cambridge to fold after such an early setback but they would have been level two minutes later but for a stunning close-range save by goalkeeper Andy Lonergan from the Cambridge skipper Luke Berry.
The value of Lonergan's intervention became even more important when Wolves doubled their advantage through a neat close-range finish by Wallace after Costa had rolled the ball into his path from the right wing.
That looked to be a decisive blow for Wolves but Cambridge were determined to find a route back into the game and did that when Wolves failed to clear their lines.
The ball fell invitingly for Elito and on this occasion there was nothing that Lonergan could do as he was beaten by a low angled drive.
Boosted by that success, Cambridge went confidently in search of an equaliser and almost found one only 60 seconds later when Ben Williamson was denied at his near post by Lonergan.
Having weathered that storm, Wolves wasted a golden opportunity to regain their two-goal advantage in the 24th minute but Wallace was denied by Norris when he only had the goalkeeper to beat.
Wolves were then frustrated again by Norris after Costa had won a penalty when was hauled back by Blair Adans.
Henry's spot-kick was weak and at a comfortable height for Norris who was able to palm the ball away to his left.
Cambridge should really have cashed in on Norris's heroics only for Piero Mingola to blaze over the bar from the edge of the six-yard box in the 62nd minute.
They then created another excellent chance after 84 minutes when Leon Legge flashed a header inches wide to the relief of Wolves.