Joao Carvalho strikes twice as Nottingham Forest hold off spirited Bradford



Posted Thursday, August 12, 2021 by PA

Joao Carvalho strikes twice as Nottingham Forest hold off spirited Bradford

Joao Carvalho’s first goals since November 2019 proved sufficient for Nottingham Forest to see off Bradford 2-1 in the first round of the Carabao Cup.

The Portuguese midfielder, returning to Forest after spending last season on loan at Spanish second division side Almeria, bagged a first-half brace with Callum Cooke’s 54th-minute free kick failing to spark a comeback from the Bantams.

Carvalho was one of 10 changes made by home boss Chris Hughton following Sunday’s season-opening 2-1 defeat at Coventry.

Hughton also gave seven players their Forest debuts with 18-year-old Fin Back handed a first-ever senior outing.

Carvalho opened the scoring on 39 minutes with a composed first-time finish into Richard O’Donnell’s bottom-right corner from eight yards after on-loan Watford playmaker Philip Zinckernagel pulled the ball back from the right byline.

The pair then combined again to double the lead two minutes later.

This time, Zinckernagel floated a perfect cross to the far post that was taken in his stride by Carvalho before he again showed calmness to shoot across goal and find O’Donnell’s bottom-left corner from seven yards.

Bradford reduced the arrears nine minutes after the interval when American keeper Ethan Horvarth was beaten too easily inside his left-hand upright by Cooke’s curling 20-yard free kick.

But the visitors left Nottingham still without a win at the City Ground since 1934.

Forest defender Gaetan Bong missed the match following being suspended for three games after admitting a Football Association charge of violent conduct.

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