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November 5, 2023 – Hong Kong SZ Olimpija

November 5, 2023 – Hong Kong SZ Olimpija

Two days after winning at home to Innsbruck, Wolves travel to Slovenia for the last match before the national team’s holiday. Nothing has changed regarding the injury situation, so the lineup is exactly the same as it appeared on Friday. Olimpija has to let go of goalkeeper Horvath, while youngster Colin takes care of the Dragons’ box.

After a testing phase in the first few minutes, Wolves took control and became dangerous for the first time in the fifth minute when Akesson sent Sale on a 2-on-1 counter-attack, but he fired wide of the net. Shortly afterwards, Hasler finished alone in front of Colin, but was unable to push the ball past the Slovenian goalkeeper. The Slovenians have their first chance on the power play (Sale has to come off for two minutes), but Breedan is unable to put the ball into the empty net after a precise cross pass across the box. As time ticked by, the Dragons got better in the game and immediately took the lead: Kapel plays through the hustle and bustle in front of Smith and Bicevskis manages to shoot from very close range (1-0; min. 15). Wolves were now paralyzed, and instead of responding to an undeserved deficit, they allowed the home team to get by with peace of mind. Olimpija thanks them and scores 2-0 (15th minute) with Leskinen scoring a rebound from Pavlin’s shot.

Also in the second half, the Wolves team initially moved away from the duels and left the field to the home team. In the 26th minute, Sibon sent a shot from the blue line towards Wolverhampton’s goal, and the ball bounced into the top corner, 3-0. And this time it only takes 30 seconds before the Dragon strikes again: Pance beats Smith with a shot from the half-left, then makes way for Bernard (4-0, min. 26). Thanks to Dante Hannon, the wolves woke up this evening. First, number 19 sends the advanced Castol a sugar pass and converts directly (minute 29). The 4-1 scoreline was also the first goal for the Norwegian defender. A little while later, Hanoune left his guard, moved alone in front of Colin and scored safely to make the score 4-2 (minute 31). Now the momentum was clear for the Black and Yellow team, and they came close to scoring their third goal several times. In the 37th minute, the time has come: Messner refuels himself in the middle and serves the onrushing Åkesson in front of goal, who only has to extend the stick: 4:3 and the game is open again. In the last minute, Bernard made two more saves against Simsic and against Kapil when he was outnumbered, and so the score reached the second break with a score of 4:3.

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In the final section, hopes of achieving a draw were quickly dashed. Just two minutes later, Zajek completed a brilliant counter-attack for the Slovenians, scoring the goal 5:3. HCP is still trying to reopen the game. This means that the game is devoid of tactical restrictions, but at the same time it is not very attractive. The supposed 6:3 by Sodja was rightfully withdrawn from recognition for offside. On the other hand, Wolves always fail because of the Dragons’ 19-year-old goalkeeper. Laibach finally scored the decisive goal: during the break, Gotch escaped and cut in alone towards the resilient Bernhard; Capel used the rebound to make the final score 6:3 (55th minute).

Consequently, Wolves loses the second match of the season to 10th-placed Ljubljana, who competed with only three foreigners, and will have to return home without points. Now there is a 12 day break where we have to recharge the batteries and bring back the infected. The away match against the Blackwings is scheduled for Linz on November 17.