Match Report: Kieron Dyer scratches five-year itch with late equaliser for QPR against West Bromwich Albion
QPR 1 West Bromwich Albion 1
The last thing Harry Redknapp, the Queens
Park Rangers manager, wanted was an FA Cup replay while his team fight against
relegation from the Premier League.
Redknapp, a winner of the competition with Portsmouth in 2008, almost got his wish after QPR looked set for defeat following a performance in stark contrast to Wednesday's 1-0 win against Chelsea. They lacked any fight or attacking threat, and only a 90th-minute equaliser from Kieron Dyer, his first goal since May 2007, prevented the home side from heading out of the competition after Shane Long's strike had given West Bromwich the lead 11 minutes from the end.
"The most important thing is we didn't get beat," said Redknapp. "You need to keep the winning momentum going. West Brom are a good side, so it was good for us to get some sort of result. We have to keep pushing forward and improving."
He may have to do that without the central defender Ryan Nelsen, who looks set to move to DC United or Toronto FC of the MLS. "He has been offered a job in America and there is every chance he will go," Redknapp added. "He has been offered a managerial job. We will have to wait and see. He is under contract, we are trying to make him hold off until the end of the season."
West Bromwich have beaten QPR twice in the League this season, and they looked like extending that winning run from the start, George Thorne, the Baggies midfielder, coming close with a 20-yard shot early on.
Julio Cesar, the Rangers goalkeeper, was then equal to efforts from Chris Brunt and Long. Rangers' only meaningful effort in the first period was a tame shot by Adel Taarabt.
Moments into the second half, though, DJ Campbell, returning for QPR after a loan spell at Ipswich, headed inches over from a Park Ji-Sung cross.
But Long struck in the 79th minute, calmly slotting past Cesar after a mistake by Nedum Onuoha. Then, in the final moments. Tal Ben Haim, on his QPR debut, played in Dyer for his first goal in more than five years.
"It was disappointing to concede right at the end," said Kevin Keen, the West Brom assistant head coach, filling in for the post-match interview while Steve Clarke recovers from flu.
"We have played QPR three times and we are confident we can get a win in the replay. The FA Cup is a chance for us to win something. The competition means a lot to us."
Queens Park Rangers (3-5-2): Cesar; Hill, Nelsen (Onuoha, 71), Ben Haim; Dyer, Mackie, Mbia, Granero (Bothroyd, h-t), Park; Taarabt, Campbell.
West Bromwich Albion (4-4-2): Myhill; Jones; McAuley, Tamas, Ridgewell; Morrison, Thorne, Brunt, Gera (Fortuné, 21; Thomas, 45); Long, Lukaku (Dawson, 88).
Referee: Mark Clattenburg
Man of the match: Long (West Bromwich)
Match rating: 3/10
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