Wolverhampton Wanderers have placed theirselves in a promising position as Nuno Espirito Santo’s side closed out a 3-2 victory over Italian-side Torino.
The visitors took the lead when Joao Moutinho’s free-kick was headed into his own goal by Torino’s Gleison Bremer.
Diogo Jota doubled Wolves’ advantage as he latched onto Adama Traore’s delicately placed pass as he slotted the ball home.
Lorenzo de Silvestri pulled one back, Raul Jimenez’s calm finish restored Wolves’ two-goal lead before Andrea Belotti’s late penalty for Torino.
The two sides will face-off at Molineux on 29 August, with the winners advancing to the UEFA Europa League Group Stages.
Wolves, playing in their first European campaign since 1980-81, will advance if they avoid defeat or only lose by one goal in a low-scoring second leg.
Nuno Espirito Santo will be delighted with the performance of his team, who were playing for the second time in four days after drawing 1-1 against Manchester United in the Premier League, while Torino are yet to start their Serie A campaign.
This was the English side’s seventh match in 29 days and Nuno opted to rest midfielder Ruben Neves, who had scored a wonderful goal against United.
But the gamble paid off as Wolves edged a thrilling game at the Stadio Olimpico Grande in Turin.
Indeed, Nuno may even be disappointed they do not have a two-goal advantage as Belotti’s 89th-minute penalty – following a clumsy challenge on him from Ruben Vinagre – gave the Italians a lifeline.
In added time, Torino had a chance to snatch an equaliser but goalkeeper Rui Patricio produced a fine save to deny Belotti his second goal. [BBC Sport]
Sirigu, Izzo, Nkoulou, Bremer, De Silvestri, Meite, Baselli, Brenguer, Ansaldi, Zaza, Belotti.
R.Patricio, Boly, Coady, Vallejo, Vinagre, Adama, Saiss, J.Moutinho, Dendoncker, Jota, Jimenez.