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Wolves right in the hunt after drawing the sting of Greeks

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Tough battle: Wolves ace Raul Jimenez fights for the ball with Ousseynou Ba of Olympiakos during last night’s match

Tough battle: Wolves ace Raul Jimenez fights for the ball with Ousseynou Ba of Olympiakos during last night’s match

AFP via Getty Images

Tough battle: Wolves ace Raul Jimenez fights for the ball with Ousseynou Ba of Olympiakos during last night’s match

Pedro Neto earned Wolves a valuable 1-1 draw at 10-man Olympiacos as they forgot their frustration at being forced to play amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The substitute's deflected strike cancelled out Youssef El Arabi's opener in the Europa League last 16 tie in Athens.

Ruben Semedo's first-half red card in the virtually empty Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium had given Wolves early encouragement but the game will only be memorable for the circumstances it was played in.

Nuno Espirito Santo's side return from Greece with a positive result in exceptionally trying circumstances, although there is no guarantee next Thursday's second leg will go ahead.

With a backdrop of a deadly global pandemic, boss Nuno again criticised the decision to play pre-match, calling it absurd.

Wolves had lobbied UEFA to postpone the game after Olympiacos owner Evangelos Marinakis announced he had tested positive for cornoavirus on Tuesday.

None of the Olympiacos squad contracted the virus but Wolves were baffled at being forced to take what they thought was an unnecessary risk.

Roma's trip to Sevilla and Inter Milan's game with Getafe were already off but Wolves made the trip to Athens reluctantly.

The game was already being played behind closed doors because of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Wolves were given a boost after 28 minutes when Olympiacos were reduced to 10 men. The visitors broke quickly and, as Diogo Jota darted towards the box, he was taken out by Semedo.

The defender was immediately dismissed by referee Clement Turpin and Ruben Neves' subsequent free kick deflected over.

Nine minutes into the second half El Arabi scored before Wolves levelled after 67 minutes through Neto's 25-yard low drive.

Belfast Telegraph