Royals comeback stuns Rangers
26th September 2012
Brian McDermott's Reading pulled off a formidable comeback in the Capital One Cup yesterday evening, as they came from 2-1 down to win 3-2 against QPR at Loftus Road.
Royals boss Brian McDermott opted to make seven changes to this fixture, with the most high profile introduction being that of the returning Jimmy Kebe. This was the Malian's first appearance all season after tearing his hamstring in pre-season. Rangers boss Mark Hughes played his strongest side, but had a defensive reshuffle due to injuries.
The game endured an open start, with both sides looking in an attacking mind frame. Noel Hunt attempted a long-range effort, before Keiran Dyer's dangerous cross from the right was eventually dealt with by the Royals defence. However, QPR began to up the pressure on the ten minute mark and eventually scored the opening goal of the encounter.
Former Reading target Junior Hoilett picked up the ball 30 yards from goal, firstly dodging a challenge from Shaun Cummings and drove past Adrian Mariappa, before driving home low past Alex McCarthy with his left foot to give Rangers the lead at Loftus Road. The pressure was starting to pile on and the dazzling run from the Canadian was finished expertly.
The Reading team from the past two fixtures would have crawled into a ball and crumbled following that goal, but instead this revitalised team found an equaliser out of nowhere just minutes later. Nicky Shorey swung in a free-kick that was nodded home by Kaspars Gorkss against his former side and sportingly chose not to celebrate.
The match was now brought to life after an uninspiring start, with Rangers responding with a powerful header from Djbril Cissť, that was palmed away well by Alex McCarthy. Reading have struggled to provide many chances for the likes of Le Fondre and Pogrebnyak in recent games, but the quality of crosses that Nicky Shorey and Shaun Cummings were producing gave the two frontmen plenty to go on.
Hal Robson-Kanu had a few promising breaks down the left hand side, but the final ball was letting the Welshman down. Reading would have been very encouraged by their first half performance and McDermott's started the second in a similar vein. Pogrebynak had a great chance to give them the lead, but his goal bound volley was blocked by the Rangers defence.
It was then QPR's turn to attack, with Jamie Mackie's stinging effort palmed away well by the ever-improving Alex McCarthy. 'The Pog' then almost had another opportunity, but Hunt's knock down just evaded the Russian's left boot. The former Stuttgart player was then thwarted by the referee, as he blew up for a foul by Hunt, who crossed for Pavel to tap home into an empty net.
McCarthy, starting his third consecutive game, was called into action again soon after. Park had an effort which forced the England U21 international into a solid, routine stop. Rangers started to increase their pressure and Jamie Mackie almost created an opportunity for himself, but Karacan tracked back superbly to save the blushes of his defenders.
Although, the home side once again took the lead in the game thanks to a superb strike from Djbril Cissť. Gorkss' attempted clearance was blocked to the Frenchman, who was not closed down by the Royals backline and fired an effort in from 25-yards that Alex McCarthy could do nothing about, undoing all of the visitors hard work.
However, once again Reading were not to be undone. Firstly, Noel Hunt's effort on goal was blocked before Loftus Road witnessed another piece of quality, this time from the unlikely source of Nicky Shorey. The left back's 30-yard free-kick dipped massively and found its way in off Julio Cesar's crossbar.
Mark Hughes' side looked shell-shocked by this and were behind for the first time in this game with ten minutes to play and complete a superb comeback from the away side. Shorey's square pass to Tabb in the area allowed the midfielder to pull the ball back for Hunt, whose scuffed effort was audaciously flicked in by Pavel Pogrebnyak at the back post.
The 1400 plus travelling support from Reading we're ecstatic at Loftus Road, with Noel Hunt's header close to putting the game beyond doubt. Reading then should have sealed the game when the impressive Pogrebnyak was brought down by M'bia in the area, but the Russian's low penalty was saved well by Brazilian international Cesar.
QPR: Cesar, Dyer, Onuoha, M'bia, Hill, Park, Faurlin, Granero, Hoilett, Mackie, Cisse
Subs: Green, Nelson, Diakite, Derry, Ehmer, Wright-Phillips, Zamora
Reading: McCarthy, Cummings, Mariappa, Gorkss, Shorey, Kebe, Karacan, Tabb, Robson-Kanu, Hunt, Pogrebnyak
Subs: Taylor, Morrison, Gunter, McAnuff, McCleary, Church, Le Fondre