Queens Park Rangers 2 Hull City 1: Super-subs help Rangers to win
PUBLISHED: 17:14 19 August 2017 | UPDATED: 17:14 19 August 2017
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Substitutes Matt Smith and Idrissa Sylla netted as Rangers came from behind to bank the Championship points at Loftus Road.
R’s were on course for a second successive defeat, following their midweek reverse at Norwich City, but Smith headed them level with a quarter of an hour to go.
And Sylla then popped up with an injury time winner to delight the home faithful.
Ian Holloway made two changes to the side that started in Norwich, with the teams observing a minutes silence in tribute to the victims of the Barcelona terror attack.
And Rangers enjoyed plenty of possession in the opening exchanges, before Hull were forced into an early change as Kevin Stewart was replaced by Adama Diomande.
The hosts had a great chance to open the scoring on 16 minutes when Conor Washington teed up Luke Freeman, but he sent his shot wide from 10 yards.
And Washington got a sight of goal himself moments later, but saw his shot deflected wide of the target.
Alex Smithies was called into some meaningful action on 24 minutes and produced a smart save to thwart Jarrod Bowen, before some excellent defending by Michael Hector three minutes later denied the lurking Washington at the other end.
And Kazenga Lualua saw a free-kick, awarded for a foul on Josh Scowen, from the edge of the box blocked by Hull’s defensive wall on the half-hour mark, before a great run and cross from James Perch was cleared by the visitors.
But Hull took the lead against the run of play on 35 minutes to silence the Loftus Road faithful, catching Rangers out at the back for Bowen to finish from close range.
And the hosts could not find a reply before half time, with Freeman seeing a corner cleared.
The second half was barely two minutes old when Australian international Massimo Luongo saw an effort blocked behind for an early Rangers corner.
But Luongo was then left needing treatment, along with Hull’s Hector, after a challenge between the two and the visitors saw David Meyler and Seb Larsson booked either side of Smith replacing Lualua.
Jamie Mackie forced Allan McGregor into a comfortable save just past the hour mark, with Jake Bidwell crossing for Smith to test the keeper with a downward header, which was grabbed at the second attempt midway through the half.
Smith sent another header wide on 68 minutes, before Holloway sent Idrissa Sylla on for Mackie with 18 minutes remaining.
And the substitute was inches away from an equaliser when his shot hit a post and then rebounded off McGregor before going behind.
Rangers did not have much longer to wait, though, as Smith got them back on terms with a far-post header from Freeman’s cross.
Bowen lashed a half-chance high and wide for Hull, who then saw Larsson denied by a superb save from Smithies in the last minute of normal time.
But Rangers claimed their winner in the first of seven extra minutes when Washington latched on to a ball over the top of the visiting defence and saw his effort loop up before being bundled home by Sylla.
The hosts still needed a goalline clearnace from Smith before they could celebrate, though, and they will now prepare to host west London rivals Brentford in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday.
QPR: Smithies, Perch, Onuoha, Baptiste (Wszolek 63), Lualua (Smith 57), Scowen, Luongo, Freeman, Bidwell, Washington, Mackie (Sylla 72). Unused subs: Ingram, Furlong, Manning, Borysiuk.