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QPR end pre-season on a high with win over Union

PUBLISHED: 16:18 28 July 2018

Ebere Eze scored the third goal for Queens Park Rangers against Union Berlin (pic: Yui Mok/PA)

Ebere Eze scored the third goal for Queens Park Rangers against Union Berlin (pic: Yui Mok/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

Pre-season friendly: Queens Park Rangers 3 (Osayi-Samuel 18), Smith 30, Eze 59p) Union Berlin 0

Queens Park Rangers ended their pre-season campaign with a fine 3-0 win at home to German second-tier side Union Berlin.

Among those to start for QPR was Toni Leistner, who came up against his former employees after moving to Loftus Road from Die Eisernen in the summer.

The visitors went close to opening the scoring in the eight minute, but Marcel Hartel volleyed over from the edge of the area after a corner was cleared only as far as the Union man.

The first chance for the Rs came five minutes later, but Ebere Ezere’s powerful, low free-kick from 20 yards was parried away by Rafal Gikiewicz.

A long ball over the top in the 17th minute caused chaos in the home defence, but Hartel could not take full advantage of the mishap as his half-volley from the edge of the area went over the bar.

It proved a costly miss as less than a minute later the west Londoners hit the front through Bright Osayi-Samuel.

Ebere Eze brilliantly played his teammate in on the left side of the box, and the former Blackpool man showed good footwork to fashion room for a shot, before firing past Rafal Gikiewicz.

The Union keeper had to be at his best to prevent Steve McClaren’s men from adding to their lead in the 25th minute, brilliantly keeping out a Matt Smith header at full stretch after Jake Bidwell crossed from the left.

The Rs, though, did get their second five minutes later with Smith this time getting the better of Gikiewicz when heading a Luke Freeman corner from the right past the Polish custodian.

With seven minutes remaining in the half, the Loftus Road outfit could have easily had a third when Osayi-Samuel broke into the box, but his effort agonisingly wide of the far post.

Four minutes into the second half, it was Eze’s turn to go very close to a third for the hosts as his volley from a corner went just inches wide.

The young forward did, however, grab the third for the Rs in the 59th minute, converting from 12 yards after being brought down in the box.

A fourth should have come two minutes later when Eze set Luke Freeman through on goal with a brilliant ball, but the midfielder saw his effort blocked by Gikiewicz.

With 15 minutes remaining, a ball from the right from Union replacement Akaki Gogia found fellow substitute Joshua Mees in the box, but home keeper Matt Ingram was out quick to block the shot.

The Rs, however, were able to hold on to their clean sheet and will look for more of the same when they begin the Sky Bet Championship season at Preston North End next Saturday.

QPR (4-3-3): Ingram; Kakay (Baptiste 76), Leistner, Lynch, Bidwell; Luongo (Cousins 73), Scowen (Smyth 76), Freeman; Eze, Smith (Washington 81), Osayi-Samuel (Manning 65).

Subs: Lumley (GK), Chair, Wszolek, Wheeler, Hamalainen, Sylla.

Union (4-4-2): Gikiewicz; Trimmel, Dietz (Schosswendter 53), Friedrich, Reichel (Lenz 64); Hedlund (Mees 58), Promel (Kroos 58), Schmiedebach (Parensen 78), Redondo (Gogia 64); Hartel, Andersson (Taz 78).

Subs: Moser (GK), Busk (GK).

Referee: Tim Robinson.

Attendance: 4,097.

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