Wed, Feb 13, 2019 - Page 16 News List

Dubravka howler rescues Wolves against Newcastle

AFP, WOLVERHAMPTON, England

Willy Boly of Wolverhampton Wanderers, top left, scores against Newcastle United in their Premier League match at Molineux in Wolverhampton, England, on Monday.

Photo: Reuters

Newcastle United goalkeeper Martin Dubravka on Monday damaged his side’s bid to avoid relegation for the second successive match as his late howler gifted Wolverhampton Wanderers a 1-1 draw.

Rafael Benitez’s side were seconds away from a valuable victory after Isaac Hayden’s first goal since 2017 put them ahead in the second half at Molineux.

Hayden’s goal had come via a weak attempted save from Wolves goalkeeper Rui Patricio, but it was Dubravka’s clanger at the other end that stole the headlines when the Slovakian allowed a cross to slip through his grasp as Willy Boly headed home deep in stoppage-time.

Dubravka will be public enemy No. 1 on Tyneside after his latest gaffe, which came just days after he let Son Heung-min’s shot squirm through his legs to give Tottenham Hotspur a late winner.

It was a bitter pill to swallow for Benitez, who did not defend Dubravka when asked about the equalizer.

“We could do better. These kind of balls you can do a little bit better, punch the ball and it’s finished,” Benitez said.

Asked if he thought Boly had pushed his goalkeeper, Benitez added: “It was not very clear watching the replay.:

“Still, it’s something we have to defend better. He [Dubravka] has to be strong enough,” he said. “I was not happy with some decisions, but overall I think the referee was fine. You cannot complain about that.”

Newcastle are now only one point above the relegation zone when they would have been three points clear but for Dubravka.

Against the run of play, Newcastle snatched the lead in the 56th minute. Hayden was played in by Fabian Schar, but his shot should have been saved by Patricio, who was beaten at his near post.

It seemed Wolves’ pressure would be in vain, until Dubravka ended up as the villain yet again in the 95th minute.

Adama Traore’s high cross hung in the air for an age, but Dubravka reacted hesitantly, allowing the ball to fall through his arms and hit Boly in the face before rolling into the net for a farcical equalizer.

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