WOLVERHAMPTON, England (AP) — Hwang Hee-chan’s two goals earned Wolverhampton a 2-1 victory over winless Newcastle in the Premier League to pile the pressure on manager Steve Bruce on Saturday.
The South Korea forward scored in the 20th and 58th minutes for Wolves’ first home goals in the Premier League this season.
Jeff Hendrick’s 41st-minute equalizer briefly threatened to upset the hosts’ momentum but they have now won three of their last four league games to ignite their season.
It was not a classic performance but it was good enough to beat Newcastle, which slipped to next-to-last place. Bruce would have left frustrated after a tight game, yet there was little suggestion Newcastle will avoid a relegation fight this season.
The visitors began brightly enough with Allan Saint-Maximin the focal point but fell behind to the game’s first chance after 20 minutes.
It was more evidence Raul Jimenez’s powers are returning after his fractured skull when, fresh from his first goal in 336 days to beat Southampton last week, he turned provider at Molineux.
The striker brilliantly held off Sean Longstaff and slipped in Hwang to draw Karl Darlow and slide a low shot under the goalkeeper.
Wolves should have doubled the lead when Francisco Trincao blew a golden chance after Ruben Neves found Hwang, whose cross reached Trincao. The Portuguese forward smashed his shot off the underside of the bar.
It was a bad miss and Wolves paid the price 73 seconds later when Newcastle equalized.
Joelinton raced onto Saint-Maximin’s pass and Jose Sa injured himself diving at his feet. The ball ran loose and Neves lost possession on the edge of the area, allowing Javier Manquillo to find Hendrick and, with Sa struggling to regain his position, the substitute drilled into the corner from 25 yards.
Wolves’ players were furious and manager Bruno Lage was booked while a bottle appeared to be thrown onto the pitch from the home fans in the aftermath but there was little wrong with the goal.
Emboldened, Newcastle went for another after the restart and Sa needed to be alert to block Saint-Maximin’s close-range effort following Joelinton’s cross.
But Wolves regrouped and restored the lead when Jimenez and Hwang and combined again for the winner after 58 minutes.
Jimenez showed excellent skill and strength to turn Longstaff and ride a challenge from Isaac Hayden to feed Hwang, who produced another excellent low finish.
More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.