It was November 18, 2017. The location: the Madejski Stadium, a little west of London, home of Reading FC. Last year, Reading was one of the best teams in the English Championship, the second tier in this country, so this game had the potential to be difficult for Wolves, the visitors. In the previous season, Wolves did not have the same luck as Reading. They finished the season in 15th place, way outside of the playoff places.
However, this season, fortunes were reversed. While Reading was rotting way outside of the playoff places, Wolves were sitting in 2nd place and needed a victory to slide into 1st. Although Wolves were dominating the league with a strong defense and a pacey attack, still questions remained about this team. How can they keep up their form? How will the Portuguese players, bought for millions of pounds, react to the cold and rainy English winter? With an opportunity to climb to first place in the league, a determined Wolves side entered the pitch, ready to show off their power.
Wolves did not waste any time in establishing their dominance. The West Midlands side scored a goal that was one of the more beautiful of the season. However, this goal was not necessarily one of individual brilliance. On the contrary, this goal was the result of a combined effort of working together to achieve the objective. After an extended period of possession with the football, the winger Ivan Cavaleiro received the ball on the far right of the pitch. The Portuguese found another young Portuguese, Diogo Jota, just outside the box in the center with an excellent pass. With the Reading defenders rapidly closing, Jota had to make a quick decision. Somehow, Jota detected the diagonal run of his teammate Cavaleiro into the box. Realizing that Cavaleiro was unmarked, Jota sent him the perfect pass. Finding himself alone with the ball in front of the keeper, Cavaleiro dummied with his right foot, touched the ball onto his left like a wizard, made the keeper fall, and tapped the ball into the open net as if he were giving an infant a kiss. The Wolves traveling support, seated behind that goal, erupted, and Cavaleiro ran towards them to celebrate.
Wolves won this match, and since then have not lost their grip on first place in the Championship. Cavaleiro’s goal began the domination of the league that does not seem to disappear. This goal could have been the catalyst for a new era at Wolves, a club with a great history but also a tumultuous one. It seems that the glory days have returned.
OfficialWolvesVideo. “HIGHLIGHTS | Reading 0-2 Wolves.” YouTube, YouTube, 19 Nov. 2017, www.youtube.com/watch?v=SccPI4O6MV8. Accessed on 1 Feb 2018.