Dyer strikes in injury-time to keep QPR in the FA Cup
QPR 1 West Brom 1
Kieron Dyer’s first goal for almost six years kept Harry Redknapp’s QPR in the FA Cup.
Dyer scored with an angled shot on 91 minutes - his first goal since May 2007 - cancelling out Shane Long’s late goal for the visitors which had appeared to settle a lacklustre third-round tie at Loftus Road.
The two sides will now meet again in the replay at The Hawthorns the week after next.
Dyer’s goal was a flattering reward for Rangers, who just days after their stunning league win at Chelsea produced a sloppy, error-strewn display against Steve Clarke’s side.
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Indeed, West Brom should have been comfortable winners, but were punished for their failure to take presentable chances through Romelu Lukaku and James Morrison.
Defender Tal Ben Haim made his debut for Rangers, while DJ Campbell made his first appearance of the season after returning from his loan spell at Ipswich Town. There was also a return for striker Jay Bothroyd, who made the bench after his loan at Sheffield Wednesday.
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Samba Diakite missed the match having travelled with Mali to the Africa Cup of Nations.
A poor first half produced little quality football from either side, with QPR fading after a bright start, and West Brom who should have gone in leading at half-time after creating the better chances. George Thorne fired wide early on, and Morrison saw his close-range shot blocked after good work from Romelu Lukaku, who quickly unsettled the Rs defence.
For QPR, Taarabt produced rare moments of excitement in an otherwise mundane performance, but the Moroccan was off-target with a couple of strikes from distance.
Just before half-time WBA should have taken the lead. Lukaku found himself in space to meet a cross from the right, but his powerful header was pushed out by Julio Cesar. The Belgian then set up Morrison, but his effort trickled narrowly wide of Cesar’s left-hand post.
With almost the last kick of the opening 45, QPR’s Stephane Mbia let fly from just outside the penalty area, but his rising shot cleared Myhill’s crossbar.
Redknapp replaced midfielder Esteban Granero with Bothroyd at half-time, the forward’s first QPR appearance since the final day of last season.
Having barely created a chance in the first half, Rangers should have scored with their first opportunity of the second. Ji-Sung Park whipped in a cross which was met firmly by Campbell, but his header flew over the crossbar.
It was a rare moment of danger, as both sides returned to the sloppy passing and low-tempo football of the first half.
West Brom struck the seemingly decisive goal on 79 minutes, as QPR failed to clear their lines after Thorne’s shot, and Republic of Ireland international Long slotted home via a touch off Nedum Onuoha.
A QPR reply looked unlikely; Adel Taarabt curling a tame free-kick wide as the clock ticked down. But in the first minute of injury-time, Dyer latched onto a long ball, and took his time before angling a shot into the bottom corner. It was Dyer’s first goal since he scored against Watford for Newcastle United in May 2007, and it was enough to earn a replay.
QPR: Cesar; Hill, Nelsen, Ben Haim, Mbia; Dyer, Park, Granero, Taarabt, Mackie, Campbell. Subs: Green, Derry, Ferdinand, Cisse, Wright-Phillips, Faurlin, Bothroyd.
West Brom: Myhill, Ridgewell, Morrison, Long, Brunt, Thorne, Lukaku, Gera, McAauley, Jones, Tamas. Subs: Foster, Rosenberg, El Ghanassy, Thomas, Reyes, Dawson, Fortune.