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Result: Joao Carvalho strikes twice as Nottingham Forest hold off spirited Bradford

Result: Joao Carvalho strikes twice as Nottingham Forest hold off spirited Bradford
© Reuters
Carvalho was one of 10 changes made by home boss Chris Hughton following Sunday's season-opening 2-1 defeat at Coventry.

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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