Wolverhampton Wanderers were able to salvage a 2-2 draw against Newcastle United, thanks to Hwang Hee-chan’s heroics, following a controversial VAR decision that awarded Newcastle a penalty. The penalty was given by referee Anthony Taylor after a foul by Hwang Hee-chan on Fabian Schar in the box just before halftime. Callum Wilson converted the penalty, putting Newcastle in the lead 2-1. However, Hwang Hee-chan’s goal in the 71st minute, fueled by sheer determination, earned Wolves a well-deserved point and continued his remarkable scoring record at Molineux, where he has scored in every home game this season.
Despite a challenging week that included a 10-month ban for their midfielder, Sandro Tonali, due to betting, and a home Champions League defeat to Borussia Dortmund, Wolves had something to show for their efforts. The match started with both teams having their fair share of possession and half-chances in the opening 20 minutes. Newcastle took the lead when Wolves’ goalkeeper, Jose Sa, made an error, failing to clear a cross, which resulted in Callum Wilson scoring.
However, Wolves didn’t let the setback affect their morale, maintaining a positive attitude and continued to press forward. They managed to level the score after a fine save by Newcastle’s goalkeeper Pope, and a well-placed corner kick from Neto, which was headed home by Mario Lemina. This was Lemina’s debut goal for Wolves, exactly a year after his last goal for the French side, Nice.
The controversy surrounding the penalty decision didn’t deter Wolves, and they came out strongly in the second half. They struggled to find the decisive final ball until Toti’s impressive run set up Hwang Hee-chan for a fabulous finish. Wolves’ manager, Gary O’Neill, expressed his frustration with the penalty decision, but he’s no stranger to contentious refereeing decisions, recalling a previous incident involving Wolves and referee Simon Hooper in a game against Manchester United.
In that particular match, Wolves were on the receiving end of a poor decision when goalkeeper Andre Onana clearly fouled Wolves players but escaped punishment. O’Neill did receive an apology from the PGMOL referee boss Jon Moss that time, but he’s not holding out hope for a second one. Despite the controversy, the match ended in a hard-fought 2-2 draw, leaving both teams with a point.