QPR 2-2 Brighton: Match Report

15 December 2015 10:31

Charlie Austin nets twice as QPR hit back to nick point against 10-man Brighton

Fit-again Charlie Austin scored both QPR's goals as Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink's men battled from two goals down to earn a 2-2 Sky Bet Championship draw against unbeaten Brighton at Loftus Road.

All four goals came in an action-packed second half, with Dale Stephens' overhead-kick and Rajiv van La Parra's long-range strike having seemingly put Albion in command.

Austin pulled a goal back and Brighton were reduced to 10 men on 84 minutes when Lewis Dunk was shown a second yellow card following a reckless challenge on Alejandro Faurlin, whose corner three minutes later was headed in for the equaliser - Austin's 10th goal of the season.

The result meant the visitors were replaced by Middlesbrough at the top of the table on goal difference.

Rangers, in their second match under new manager Hasselbaink, dominated the first half but were two down within 10 minutes of the restart.

After Dunk climbed above Gabriele Angella at the far post to head Van La Parra's 52nd-minute corner back towards the six-yard box, Stephens nudged Sandro out of the way and showed great improvisation to hook the ball past Rob Green.

Rangers protested that Sandro had been fouled and worse followed for them three minutes later, when goalkeeper Green was unable to react quickly enough when Van La Parra's 35-yard shot took a deflection off Grant Hall, allowing the ball to squirm past him and into the net.

QPR hit back on 65 minutes, with their first goal under Hasselbaink.

Matt Phillips delivered a low cross and Austin, in the starting line-up for the first time in more than a month following a calf injury, pounced on the loose ball following Gordon Greer's challenge on him and smashed home.

And Austin's equaliser salvaged a deserved point for Rangers, who in the first half were denied by Inigo Calderon's goal-line clearance and might have had a penalty.

Austin's 21st-minute cross towards Leroy Fer ran for Phillips and the Rangers winger's shot beat goalkeeper David Stockdale, but Calderon rescued Albion.

Three minutes later, the R's appealed in vain for a spot-kick when Austin combined nicely with Fer and saw his shot blocked by Greer's stray arm.

Earlier, Austin, who has been nursing a calf problem, had a low effort from near the edge of the box saved by Stockdale, who also tipped over a thunderous drive from Phillips.

Rangers were then forced into a defensive change when James Perch was helped off on the quarter-hour mark after falling awkwardly as he landed following an aerial challenge on Jamie Murphy.

Hasselbaink moved Nedum Onuoha to right-back and sent on Aneglla, and his team continued to press, with Hall heading Faurlin's corner over shortly before Phillips so nearly opened the scoring.

In the end it was Stephens who broke the deadlock, and a second goal soon afterwards seemed to have put the game out of QPR's reach.

They battled on, though, and Austin had a header and a low shot saved by Stockdale before eventually reducing the deficit.

Fer and Rangers substitute Sebastian Polter headed wide before Dunk's dismissal, but Austin made no mistake when another chance came his way.


Source: PA


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