Ipswich Town 0 Sheffield Wednesday 1: Lucas Joao’s late strike gives new boss Steve Bruce a winning start

Lucas Joao stepped up off the bench to claim a 90th minute winner and help Sheffield Wednesday kick off the Steve Bruce era with a win against basement battlers Ipswich Town.

Saturday, 2nd February 2019, 4:02 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 4:06 pm
Ipswich Town v Sheffield Wednesday

The Portugal international, a 72nd minute replacement for Steven Fletcher, notched his ninth goal of the season in the 90th minute after wonderful play by Adam Reach on the right flank.

It is the Owls' first league double over Ipswich since the 2006-07 campaign.

It would have been a travesty had Wednesday not picked up maximum points in Suffolk after dominating the match for long periods. Fernando Forestieri (2), Steven Fletcher and Adam Reach all fluffed their lines in front of goal.

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After a dull, scrappy start to the contest, the visitors created the meaningful opportunity. Adam Reach nodded the ball into the path of Fernando Forestieri but the skilful forward, making his first start in over two months, drilled a shot high over the top.

Steven Fletcher missed a glorious opportunity to put Wednesday ahead in the 18th minute. He latched on to Michael Hector's superb pass only to see his low left drive kept out by Bartosz Bialkowski. Barry Bannan's follow up attempt was expertly blocked by Toto Nsiala.

Bottom-of-the-table Ipswich, who entered the fixture having won just two of their previous 17 league outings, looked a side bereft of confidence and quality. The Tractor Boys created little in the early skirmishes.

A positive, driving run from Teddy Bishop briefly threatened to unlock Wednesday's defence. The midfielder freed Collin Quaner and the centre-forward tried to put Alan Judge in the clear but George Boyd tracked back for the Owls and made a vital intervention.

Bishop then slipped in Freddie Sears down the right on the half hour mark only for the diminutive forward to steer a shot well wide.

At the other end, the Owls continued to lack a ruthlessness in the final third. Reach somehow scooped the ball over the from close range after Morgan Fox fizzed the ball across the face of goal.

Moments later, Liam Palmer whipped in a teasing delivery into the penalty area which Forestieri headed over as Wednesday enjoyed a good spell of pressure.

Forestieri looked lively for the Owls. After Reach dispossessed Myles Kenlock deep inside Ipswich's half, Forestieri let fly from long range and his rasping right foot shot was punched to safety by Bialkowski.

The visitors kept on pressing in the second period and the influential Forestieri slipped in George Boyd near the byline and the midfielder's dangerous centre just Reach at the back post.

Sam Hutchinson received a yellow card in the 54th minute after barging over lone front man Quaner near the halfway line.

After Bannan was also cautioned for bringing down Bishop, Forestieri wasted a great chance to hand Wednesday the lead. He capitalised on a slack piece of defending by Toto Nsiala and went through on goal. However, the 29-year-old's composure in front of goal deserted him again as he blazed over the bar.

Bruce freshened things up in the 65th minute, throwing on Josh Onomah for the ineffective Boyd.

It was all way one traffic as Forestieri poked wide from an acute angle after a lovely through ball by Hector.

Wednesday were almost left to rue their wayward finishing when Alan Judge curled a left foot narrowly over following good work by substitute Will Keane.

Ipswich substitute Trevor Chalobah nearly made an instant impact, rising highest to head Judge's corner straight at Keiren Westwood, who gathered it at the second attempt.

It looked like it was going to finish all square until Joao had the final word as he rifled a shot past Bialkowski after Reach wriggled his way to the byline and brilliantly pulled the ball back.