Queens Park Rangers 0-0 Sunderland - SAFC win 3-1 on penalties
Sunderland clinched a dramatic penalty shootout win over Queens Park Rangers on Tuesday evening to reach the last eight of the Carabao Cup.
The Lads made a blistering start to proceedings at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium, as Dan Neil and Leon Dajaku threatened the home side’s defence.
Mark Warburton’s side ended the opening period on top and several chances fell their way before the break, but Lyndon Dykes and Ilias Chair failed to find the target and Lee Burge denied Andre Gray.
Chances were limited following the restart despite both sides maintaining the high-intensity displayed in the first 45, with substitute Charlie Austin blazing over the top moments after taking to the field.
Burge produced his second outstanding save of the game and red and white celebration followed despite Albert Adomah tucking home the follow-up, as an offside flag set up a dramatic finale in West London.
And that’s where the home side crumbled, and the Black Cats held their nerve.
Austin, Chair and Yoann Barbet all missed for the R’s, with McGeady, Ross Stewart and Alex Pritchard converting to send the Lads into the last eight.
Lee Johnson made seven changes for the Loftus Road encounter, as Burge replaced Thorben Hoffman and Corry Evans captained the Lads.
Bailey Wright partnered Frederik Alves at the back and Denver Hume also featured, with top goalscorer Stewart leading line flanked by Dajaku and Lynden Gooch.
After a frenetic opening in West London, Sunderland’s first sight at goal arrived on 10 minutes as Neil rode several challenges before forcing Seny Dieng into a diving save.
Dajaku menaced moments later, but QPR once again escaped unscathed as the winger’s low ball flashed across the face of goal to safety.
The sides continued to slug it out and Osman Kakay was next to try his luck, but Burge produced an excellent one-handed save to ensure the deadlock remained intact.
Johnson’s side were dealt a blow on 24 minutes, as Hume limped off after failing to shake off the after effects of a heavy challenge by Kakay.
The R’s ended the opening 45 minutes on top and they spurned a host of clear-cut chances before the interval, with Dykes and Chair firing off target before Burge denied Gray.
Following the restart, Sunderland carved open the home side’s backline in front of the 2,700-strong away end, but Luke O’Nien’s low cross was blocked before Stewart had the chance to tuck it home from close range.
Changes followed for both sides after the hour mark as further firepower was added to the melting pot, with McGeady and Aiden O’Brien quickly following the experienced Austin into the fray.
The latter almost made an instant impact by sending a first-time volley whistling over the top, however, the Lads were forced into another change moments later when Pritchard replaced Dajaku.
Like Austin, the former Huddersfield Town playmaker looked to seize his opportunity immediately, but Stewart was unable to connect with his fizzed cross before Winchester bundled a half-chance high and wide in the stages that followed.
More Burge heroics followed as the stopper clawed Jordy De Wijs’ goalbound effort to safety, and QPR cheers soon turned to jeers as an offside flag ruled out Adomah’s follow-up and Dieng denied McGeady to send the game to penalties.
Three stepped up in red and white and found the target to secure a 3-1 win shootout win.
The quarter-finals await.
Queens Park Rangers: Dieng, Kakay (Adomah 72)Dickie, De Wijs, Barbet, Odubajo, Amos (Duke-McKenna 84) ,Duke-McKenna Willock (Dozzell 73) Chair, Dykes, Gray (Austin 62)
Subs not used: Archer, Drewe, Dunne, Ball, Johansen.
Sunderland AFC: Burge, Evans (McGeady 64), Alves (Doyle 69), Dajaku (Pritchard 69), Gooch (O’Brien 64), O’Nien, Stewart, Winchester, Neil, Wright, Hume (Cirkin 24).
Subs not used: Flanagan, Harris, Hoffmann, Wearne.