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Saturday, July 21, 2007

Nostalgia: Two Years Ago...Ibiza Victory...Ukah Joins...Iran Victory

Two Years ago this week:

July 2005: QPR Official Site - "EUROPEAN CHAMPIONS!

Rangers fought back from 2-0 down in the Copa De Ibiza final to claim the trophy with a 3-2 win.Two second half goals from Dean Sturridge and a late winner from Kevin Gallen turned the game on its head in a match that might well give Liverpool a run for their money when it comes to great European cup final comebacks!
Trailing 2-0 at half time, thanks to some powerful Coventry finishing, Rangers had it all to do after the break.
But two goals from Dean Sturridge gave Rangers a lifeline and there was yet more drama to come.
Coventry had the ball in the back of the net, but the linesman's flag ruled it out. As play swung up the other end, Gallen was on hand to strike and ensure the cup was on the plane home to London.
Although Monday's 5-0 win over local side Saint Antoni looked impressive, little can be learnt from a performance against a non league side.But it could be said that the final against Coventry would be a fairer indication of how Rangers may fare in this year's Championship.
Once again Ian Holloway was able to give his entire squad a run out, apart from the injured Gareth Ainsworth and Martin Rowlands.
It may have been just a pre-season tournament, but Rangers' determination was evident from the start as the team huddle that has become synonymous with the Superhoops was put into action.
Adam Chambers had the first effort for Rangers after Aaron Brown whipped the ball across the face of goal, but the trialist skewed his shot over the bar.
Rangers' task was made harder when Coventry took the lead through Dele Adebola on 25 minutes. Clean through, the imposing forward slotted past Jake Cole into the far corner.
Tommy Doherty was introduced when Marc Bircham went down holding his ankle and there was more bad news for Rangers when Coventry doubled their lead through Gary McSheffrey.
Rangers had it all to do in the second half and Dean Sturridge wasted no time in narrowing the scoreline with a delightful shot from the edge of the box.Coventry's disallowed goal was a heart stopping moment for Rangers fans, but they were soon elated with Gallen riffled the ball into the back of the net.
There were just five minutes to sit out before the referee signalled Rangers' European victory and what will hopefully be the first silverware of the season.
Rangers first half: Cole, Gallen, Bircham (Doherty), Evatt, Brown, Furlong, Rose, Miller, Bignot, Santos, Chambers
Rangers second half: Royce, Shittu, Moore, Cook, Doherty, Shimmin, Hislop, Bean, Sturridge (Chambers), Hugo, Gallen QPR

BBC - July 20, 2005 - QPR swoop for Nigerian defender
QPR have signed Nigerian defender Ugo Ukah on a three-year contract following a successful trial.
Ukah, 21, played in Rangers' recent victory in the pre-season Copa de Ibiza tournament, and impressed boss Ian Holloway enough to earn a deal.
"Every day in training I give my all to improve, and Ian Holloway seems to like that," Ukah told the club's website.
"I enjoyed my time in Ibiza, and to play in the final against Coventry there was amazing." BBC

Independent - July 21, 2005 Football: QPR contract for Ukah after trial
The Nigerian defender Ugo Ukah has signed a three-year deal with Queen's Park Rangers following a trial spell. The 21-year-old, who played for Italian club Reggina last season, was involved in Rangers' victory in the Copa de Ibiza, and impressed the manager Ian Holloway enough to be given a contract. 'Every day in training I give my all to improve, and Ian Holloway seems to like that,' Ukah said."

BBC - July 23: Holloway lands giant Danish star
Holloway has been chasing a striker for some time
QPR boss Ian Holloway has signed giant Danish international striker Marc Nygaard on a two-year deal.
Nygaard, 28, joins for an undisclosed fee from Italian side Brecsia.
The 6ft 5in tall forward told the club website: "The first game I attended was Arsenal v QPR and I was standing by all the QPR fans so I followed the club.
"Many of my friends said England would suit my style. I am a very physical player and look forward to playing in the Championship." BBC

July 23, 2005 - QPR 3 Iran 0 - Scorers Furlong, Ainsworth and Santos.
Sunday Times Match Report - July 24, 2005
QPR 3 Iran 0: Iran go under in away day to forgetBrian Glanville at Loftus Road
WAS their journey really necessary? Was it really worth the Iranians bringing a reserve team all the way to Shepherd’s Bush while five of their stars were in pre-season training with their Bundesliga clubs? At full strength, Iran, who have already qualified for the 2006 World Cup finals, are thought to have their best team ever. ..
Half-time was approaching when Lee Cook took a corner from the left, Dan Shittu knocked it back and Paul Furlong squeezed his back-header inside the right-hand post.
Earlier on the Iranians had looked the more likely to score. QPR’s trialist goalkeeper, Wayne Henderson, made a resilient double save from first Yahia Golmohammadi, then Arash Borhani. But Iran faded in the second half. Gareth Ainsworth headed in another corner by Cook and himself took the corner from which Georges Santos headed a third. Times

BBC -QPR 3-0 Iran
Paul Furlong opened the scoring for QPR on 41 minutesPaul Furlong, Gareth Ainsworth and George Santos all scored headers as QPR enjoyed a 3-0 friendly win over Iran.
The Iranians, who have qualified for next year's World Cup, held QPR at bay until the 41st minute, when Furlong headed Dan Shittu's cross home.
Substitute Ainsworth doubled the home side's lead 14 minutes after half-time, as he headed Lee Cook's corner.
And Ainsworth turned provider after 71 minutes, taking the corner which Santos headed to complete the scoring.
Summer signing Tommy Doherty made his debut for Rangers, playing just over one hour before making way for Marcus Bean.
Aston Villa trialist Wayne Henderson made an appearance in goal, while Derby trialist Jamie Vincent also played. BBC

OBSERVER Match Report

And a few days later....

A Darren Bent hat-trick was the undoing of Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road this evening.The former Ipswich striker netted twice in the first half before converting a penalty with ten minutes to go to complete his own personal milestone.But in truth, Charlton were the better side all over the pitch and thoroughly deserved a comfortable pre-season victory.Ian Holloway will be happy for the opportunity to give a large proportion of his squad a good run out against Premiership opposition and he will doubtless have learned from the experience.

Holloway gave a run out to Ugo Ukah, Dominic Shimmin and the well again Marc Bircham.Between the sticks, Jake Cole was given a rare start against Simon Royce's former club after the stopper suffered a back problem last week.

It was Georges Santos playing up front who had Rangers' first effort on goal. Making his way into the box, he squeezed the ball round Stephen Andersen in the Charlton goal and picked it up on the other side.With a dink towards goal, Santos' effort was goalbound but for the last ditch clearance from Jonathan Spector.But it was the Addicks who took the lead when a fine passing move between Danny Murphy and Dennis Rommedahl finished with Darren Bent shooting from the edge of the box and landing in the opposite corner of the net.

Up the other end of the park, Aaron Brown was trying to get Rangers back on level terms, but his shot blazed over the bar.Charlton were not content with sitting on their lead and were still pushing on up front. Danny Murphy hit a vicious volley just wide of the target after 20 minutes as the Addicks looked to extend their lead.Three minutes later, Murphy dispossessed Martin Rowlands in midfield and tried an audacious lob from 35 yards that sailed over a relieved Jake Cole's cross bar.Charlton doubled their lead three minutes before the break when Rommedahl's ball across the face of goal was met by Bent.From a tight angle, he fired the ball goalwards and the ball ricocheted off the unfortunate Cole before looping over the goal line.

Ian Holloway made multiple changes in the second half in a bid to see as much of his squad as possible.Rommedahl got the second half off to yet another attacking start, bending his effort in towards goal from the right wing but just missing the target.

Dan Shittu then had the fans in the lower Loft ducking for cover when he sent in a venomous 35 yard effort that crashed back off the cross bar.Charlton nearly added to their lead with 18 minutes to go when Bent's cross was met by a rising first time effort from Rommedahl.But substitute keeper, Wayne Henderson got a hand to it and deflected the ball onto the cross bar when it appeared destined for the back of the net.Charlton were then given the chance to extend their lead further when Marcus Bent stepped up to the penalty spot after Marcus Bignot fouled Spector in the area.Bent was not going to be denied his hat-trick and coolly slotted the ball into the bottom right corner.There was no coming back from this scoreline for Rangers, but the run out for the majority of Holloway's squad will no doubt have served it's purpose two weeks before the Championship season starts.

Rangers: Cole (Henderson 45), Ukah (Bignot 45), Rose (Hislop 45), Bean (Cook 45 (Brown 57)), Shittu, Shimmin, Rowlands, Bircham (Doherty 45), Furlong (Nygaard 62), Santos (Gallen 45), Brown (Miller 45)
Charlton: Andersen, Young, Hreidarsson (Fortune 76), Kishishev, Perry, Spector, Rommedahl, Murphy (Thomas 62), Bent, Smertin (Holland 71), AmbroseSubs: Fortune, Keilly, Hughes, Euell, Sam, Jeffers, JohanssonScorers: Bent 17, 43, 80Att: 3,256 QPR

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