Stoppage-time equaliser saves QPR from disastrous defeat


Kenneth Paal’s equaliser five minutes into stoppage time rescued a point for QPR, saving them from a potentially disastrous home defeat.

Jack Rudoni’s 86th-minute goal looked like leaving third-from-bottom Rangers six points adrift of the Terriers – the team immediately above them in the Championship table.

But Ilias Chair’s right-wing cross was kneed into the top corner of the net by left-back Paal in the final stages.

A win would have taken QPR out of the relegation zone, where they have been since September, and left Huddersfield in it. The draw means the gap stays at three points.

Both sides struggled to create clear-cut chances, particularly during a scrappy first half, although Chair and Sinclair Armstrong looked a threat for Rangers.

Chair saw a weak shot comfortably saved by keeper Lee Nicholls and sent in a wickedly-delivered corner from the left, but no-one could add a decisive touch.

Armstrong, meanwhile, fired high and wide from an acute angle during a frustrating opening 45 minutes for the hosts.

At the other end, Rhys Healey headed over from Sorba Thomas’ free-kick and had a shot blocked by Jake Clarke-Salter following good work on the right by Rudoni.

QPR boss Marti Cifuentes will have hoped for an improvement after the interval, but it did not materialise.

Instead, Huddersfield looked the better side, enjoying the majority of possession and going close when Michal Helik headed just over from Thomas’ left-wing corner.

It prompted Cifuentes to make a double substitution, sending on Paul Smyth and Elijah Dixon-Bonner in place of Chris Willock and the ineffective Lyndon Dykes.

That did make a slight difference, with Smyth adding some energy in attack and Dixon-Bonner shooting wide from near the edge of the penalty area, before Jack Colback’s left-footed strike was caught by Nicholls.

However, that was as much as QPR could muster before Rudoni broke the deadlock.

Rangers, who have shown a tendency to concede goals from set-pieces, failed to properly clear a free-kick and Radinio Balker’s shot fell to Rudoni, who fired past keeper Asmir Begovic.

The last-gasp equaliser was a huge relief for the R’s, but they remain in deep trouble.

QPR: Begovic: Drewe (13), Cook, Clarke-Salter (Fox 90), Paal; Colback, Field (Adomah 90); Willock (Dixon-Bonner 61), Dykes (Smyth 61), Chair; Armstrong.
Subs not used: Archer, Dunne, Pedder, Larkeche.