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QPR goalkeeper Seny Dieng heads home dramatic late equaliser

Sunderland v Queens Park Rangers – Sky Bet Championship – Stadium of Light
(Image credit: Will Matthews)

Queens Park Rangers goalkeeper Seny Dieng headed in a dramatic equaliser after Sunderland had looked on track to hit top spot in the Sky Bet Championship.

Ross Stewart and Ellis Simms scored for the second Saturday in a row to put Sunderland on track for three points only for QPR to hit back late on and earn a point.

QPR looked like having no answer to their first-half goals in the 31st and 40th minutes, until Ilias Chair curled in a brilliant free-kick with three minutes remaining for QPR.

And when Dieng charged upfield for a stoppage-time corner his initial header was blocked, only for him to turn in a second opportunity when a ball came back into the box.

Even then Sunderland could have won but the Hoops goalkeeper made a late save to deny Stewart a second goal that would have sealed the points.

Both Sunderland and QPR had made decent starts to the season and, after midweek outings in the Carabao Cup, there was familiarity about how the two teams lined up.

Sunderland boss Alex Neil reverted to the team that started at Bristol City a week earlier, while QPR manager Michael Beale made three changes to last Saturday’s team that beat Middlesbrough.

There was soon a change for Neil to think about. When Albert Adomah left his foot in on Dan Ballard, the former Arsenal defender had to be replaced with just nine minutes on the clock following lengthy treatment.

Adomah was in the thick of the action and wasted a fantastic chance to put QPR ahead with quarter of an hour approaching. The ex-Middlesbrough man directed a header wide from inside six yards after he had been picked out by Olamide Shodipo.

Before that Sunderland showed great hunger in front of a passionate crowd. Simms went close to finishing off a good move but Dieng was on hand to hold in the centre of goal.

That chance arrived from Stewart’s knock-down following Alex Pritchard’s cross, and then the latter curled an effort from the edge of the area wide seconds later.

Sunderland were bright, looked hungry and got the goal their fans were hoping for just after half an hour – and it was Stewart who obliged.

When he flicked Dan Neil’s crossfield pass on to Jack Clarke there was still plenty work to be done. Clarke found Pritchard, whose run and pass led to Neil forcing a low save from Dieng and Stewart was first to react with a predatory strike from the rebound.

Nine minutes later Sunderland had a second. When Stefan Johansen knocked the ball away when he tackled Pritchard, it fell invitingly for Simms to poke a finish low and powerfully beyond Dieng.

QPR made a bright start to the second half and should have pulled one back when substitute Tyler Roberts pulled an effort wide from a central position.

After that QPR kept probing and when Chair’s curling free-kick found its way in late on, the stage was set for Dieng to charge upfield for a corner and seal a dramatic point.

Even if he had to make one last save at the other end from Stewart when Sunderland also hit the bar from Elliot Embleton.

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