Report | Swansea City 2 Hull City 1
Steve Cooper got off to a winning start as Swansea City head coach as two second-half goals in the space of two minutes secured three points against Hull.
The Swans had trailed at the interval as Kamil Grosicki’s deflected strike gave the Tigers an early lead they trained with relative comfort.
But it all changed in the first four minutes of the second period as Borja Baston’s first Swansea goal in 1,022 days levelled matters, before Mike van der Hoorn nodded in what proved to be the winner.
It gave Swansea a first win in seven attempts against the team from East Yorkshire and a second successive opening-day triumph having seen off Sheffield United by the same scoreline 12 months ago.
Cooper had handed debuts to keeper Freddie Woodman and full-back Jake Bidwell, with Borja making a first league start in Swansea colours in 950 days as he led the line following the sale of Oli McBurnie.
Ben Wilmot and Kristoffer Peterson – recent summer recruits – were among the substitutes.
The visitors took the lead inside three minutes as Daniel Batty found the far corner of the net.
The Tigers cleverly worked room for Grosicki to cut in from the left and get away a shot that flicked off Daniel Batty to bounce beyond Woodman into the far corner.
The Swans responded with a good spell of pressure, Bersant Celina and Bidwell combining down the left and the defender pulling back a useful ball into the box that no white shirt could get to.
The Swans went close again on 13 minutes, Nathan Dyer heading a cross back across goal where Borja was denied at the near post and Jay Fulton’s follow-up was blocked on the line by Hull captain Eric Lichaj.
Bidwell produced another good delivery into the box a few minutes later, Borja connecting powerfully but heading wide.
However, after that flurry, the Swans struggled to really break down a deep and well-organised Hull rearguard and keeper George Long did not have a save worthy of the name to make.
Swansea did end the half with further forward flurries but the Tigers remained a goal to the good at the interval.
But the hosts were level less than two minutes into the second half. Dyer sent in a low cross, Fulton flicked it goalwards and Borja reacted to nod the ball over George Long and into the net.
Incredibly, just 110 seconds later the Swans led. Bidwell drove onto a Byers pass and his cross clipped the face of the crossbar.
Dyer put it back into the box and Van der Hoorn was on hand to head home at the near post.
Cooper’s men were now all over the visitors and it took a block to deny Dyer from another strong Bidwell surge down the left.
Long saved from Dyer as the winger was picked out by a lovely raking pass from Celina.
The Kosovo international was left with his head in his hands as Long and the offside flag denied him from a wonderful ball along the byline by Byers.
Chances were coming with regularity and Dyer was twice stopped by Long after the keeper and substitute Ryan Tafazolli had got themselves in an awful mess dealing with a straight punt downfield.
Swans fans got their first glimpse of Peterson with 21 minutes left as he came on for Byers, and the new signing saw his team-mates play themselves into bother and get away with it on more than one occasion as the final 10 minutes approached.
Fulton made an excellent block to keep put Reece Burke’s header from the latest in a line of set-pieces for the Tigers but the Swans survived the nervy closing stages to take the spoils.
Swansea City: Freddie Woodman; Connor Roberts, Mike van der Hoorn, Joe Rodon, Jake Bidwell; Jay Fulton, Matt Grimes (captain); Nathan Dyer (Kyle Naughton 90), George Byers (Kristoffer Peterson 69), Bersant Celina; Borja Baston.
Subs not used: Kristoffer Nordfeldt, Ben Wilmot, Barrie McKay, Yan Dhanda, Courtney Baker-Richardson.
Hull City: George Long, Eric Lichaj (captain), Jordy de Wijs (Ryan Tafazolli 55), Reece Burke, Kevin Stewart, Daniel Batty, Kamil Grosicki (Josh Bowler 68), Nouha Dicko (Tom Eaves 68), Jarrod Bowen, Stephen Kingsley, Jackson Irvine.
Subs not used: Matt Ingram, Jon Toral, Robbie McKenzie, Keane Lewis-Potter.