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Saturday, March 29, 2008

QPR Ipswich Draw: Reports and Comments...QPR Equal Last Season's Points Total (With Five Games Remaining)

QPR and Ipswich drew 0-0. QPR moved up to 53 points with 5 games remaining (7 points out of a playoff spot; 8 away from a relegation spot). League Table Note: QPR have now equalled their points total from last season.

QPR Official Site - SATISFIED

Luigi De Canio was full of praise for his players, after seeing his much-changed side hold home-specialists Ipswich Town to a draw at Portman Road.
Speaking exclusively to www.qpr.co.uk, the R's gaffer said: "I think we were really good value for the point.
"Both teams played really well and fought with their hearts and it's a shame there were no goals to show for both side's efforts.
"Ipswich are one of the best teams in the division and it's a valuable and very important point for us."
De Canio added: "We were without out top-scorer in Akos Buzsaky and our captain Martin Rowlands was only fit enough to play from the bench, so it's a great point for us.
"I can take a great amount of satisfaction from the afternoon. It shows how much we have progressed. We're getting consistency in our results and that is very good."
De Canio was honest enough to admit Rangers were 'quite fortunate' not to concede a late penalty when Matthew Connolly appeared to handle the ball on the line, commenting: "It is difficult to judge if the ball went over the line, as it was in the air.
"Possible we were lucky that the referee did not see the handball, but even so, Lee Camp assures me he would have saved it anyway!" QPR

Ipswich Official Site JIM: NO MOANS
Town boss Jim Magilton refused to blame the officials despite Town having a 'goal' turned away and two strong penalty appeals turned down in the goalless draw with QPR.
Referee Paul Armstrong waved away claims for a spot-kick after Alan Lee was twice bundled over in the box and then turned down appeals from Blues that Velice Sumulikoski's close range effort had been cleared from behind the line by the hand of a Rangers' defender.
"I'm not going to moan about the officials," Jim told Ipswich World after the game.
I did not have a great view of the incident at the end but my first thoughts were that Shumi should have smashed the ball back into the net.
"That said he was adamant, as were the other lads, that the ball was over the line and then hit the lad's arm.
"We also had two stonewall penalty appeals but we're not going to cry about it.
"We had the better chances and their 'keeper has made two world class saves but it was two teams going all out to win.
"It was surprising that the score was goalless at the break. There was one occasion when each side had two chances in the space of two minutes. It was end to end and too open for my liking but for anyone watching, it was a great advert for Championship football." Ipswich

Ipswich boss Jim Magilton rued "two points dropped" following his team's goalless draw with QPR in the Coca-Cola Championship.
The play-off chasing Suffolk side were foiled by a series of saves from visiting goalkeeper Lee Camp.
The Blues also had two penalty claims turned down in either half of the Portman Road clash.
In the first half, Town striker Alan Lee claimed he was pushed by Rangers defender Michael Mancienne as he challenged for a Danny Haynes cross.
And in the 85th minute, Town players surrounded referee Paul Armstrong after Velice Sumulikoski's close-range header was blocked on the goal-line by Matthew Connolly, claiming that the ball had crossed the line and Connolly had handled it.
Magilton said: "I haven't seen it but Schumi (Sumulikoski), Jason (de Vos) and Alan Lee have said it was behind the line and that the lad has used his hand to scoop it out.
"The lads are adamant."
He added: "In any other game, we get penalties, of course we do. In all fairness, I think Schumi should put ball and man in the net. Obviously, it's a stone-waller from his point of view."
Magilton refused to criticise the referee and said midfielder Gavin Williams had missed a great chance as the ball dropped following Lee's penalty appeal.
"Gavin Williams should score from Alan Lee's push," said the Northern Irishman.
"I'm not here to be critical of referees. I love them."
Magilton said he was disappointed with the result: "We are at home. We expect to win home games. For me, it's two points dropped."
He added: "I think it was a good advert for Championship football.
"The keeper has made two world-class saves for them. It's a case of missed chances.
"Credit to QPR, they came and gave us a game and will probably go away happier than we are.
"Whether that is going to cost us, we will have to wait and see."
Rangers' Italian boss Luigi de Canio said: "This is a really important and valuable point we've achieved today against a team that's possibly the best team we've faced this year in the Championship."
Asked whether he thought Connolly had handled the ball on the goal-line, he said: "It's difficult to judge if the ball crossed the line as the ball was in the air.
"As for the handball, possibly we were a bit fortunate the referee missed it. I have been assured that if the referee had seen it and given a penalty Lee (Camp) would have saved it."
He added: "I think it was a good game for both teams. It was just a shame really there were no goals.
"We were missing three or four very important players and people have stepped up and done very well." Sporting Life

In a fixture between two of the Championship's great entertainers, Ipswich and QPR fought out an entertaining stalemate at Portman Road.

Danny Haynes hit the post for the Tractor Boys in the first-half, while Hogan Ephraim blasted wide with the goal at his mercy, as the R's more than matched Jim Magilton's men in every department.

Rangers upped the tempo after the break and in the end, were good value for their point.

Luigi De Canio made three changes to the starting XI following last weekend's 3-3 draw against Wolverhampton Wanderers.

With injury ruling out Akos Buzsaky (foot) and Martin Rowlands (neck), and Damien Delaney serving the first game of his two-match suspension, the Italian recalled stand-in skipper Gavin Mahon, midfielder Ephraim and no-nonsense centre-half Damion Stewart.

Ipswich were minus the services of hit-man Pablo Counago (suspended), which meant Haynes partnered Alan Lee in attack for the hosts.

After a tight opening to the game, it was Rangers who created the first notable opportunity. Michael Mancienne picked the ball up just short of halfway and made good ground, before dragging a 25-yard effort wide.

Play soon switched to the other end, and after Haynes got the better of Fitz Hall, the post came to Rangers' rescue, as his right-footed effort cannoned back of Lee Camp's left upright.

After a corner from the right by Alan Quinn, Jason De Vos rose tallest to power a header on target, but Camp stood firm to punch the ball to safety.

Rangers broke at pace and when Rowan Vine's cross-shot was only half cleared, Ephraim was quickest to the loose ball, only to inexplicably fire wide with the goal at his mercy.

Buoyed by their reprieve, Ipswich raced straight up the other end and Stewart came to the R's rescue, sliding in to thwart Haynes as the striker let fly from an acute angle.

Haynes was a constant threat, and when he was given time and pace to turn on the edge of the six-yard box, Camp dived low to his right to ensure it remained goalless.

As the clock ticked towards the halfway point of the first period, Ephraim curled a teasing 25-yard free-kick just wide of Stephen Bywater's right hand post.

Just before first half stoppage-time, Quinn squandered a great opportunity to put the Tractor Boys in front.

After vocal home appeals for a push by Hall on Lee on the edge of the six-yard box, the ball broke to the left midfielder, who blasted wide from close range.

As the rain lashed down at Portman Road, the second half started off in similar fashion to the first, with both sides enjoying an equal share of the possession.

R's Manager De Canio then made his first change of the afternoon, as Rowlands - who had been suffering all week with a neck injury - replaced Mikele Leigertwood in the 57th minute.

The midfield maestro was in the groove immediately, linking up well with Vine, whose deft near post cross was headed into the side netting by Patrick Agyemang.

Rangers continued to press and after good link-up play with Agyemang, Rowlands fired a tame shot into the hands of the grateful Bywater.

Moments later, Agyemang's sublime solo run from deep inside his own half ended with his shot deflecting wide for a corner.

Ipswich produced their best effort of the half in the 75th minute, as livewire Quinn curled a direct free-kick on target, but Camp was on hand to palm away.

There was controversy five minutes from time, when Matthew Connolly appeared to handle a goal-bound shot, but the decision was not forthcoming, to the disgust of every outfield Ipswich player, who surrounded referee Mr. Armstrong to vent their frustrations.

Ipswich Town: Bywater, De Vos, Bruce, Garvan, Williams (Roberts 77), Lee, Castro, Haynes, Simpson, Quinn, Sumulikoski.
Subs: Colgan, Wright, Trotter, Rhodes.
Bookings: Simpson 34

QPR: Camp, Mahon, Stewart, Mancienne, Blackstock, Connolly, Agyemang, Ephraim (Balanta 92), Vine (Lee 65), Hall, Leigertwood (Rowlands 57).
Subs: Barker, Pickens.
Bookings: Mancienne 46
Referee: Mr P Armstrong
Attendance: 24,517 QPR

Sporting Life Match Report - Match Report

Ipswich Official Site Match Report

Minute-by-Minute - Gamblog

Teams-QPR: Camp, Mahon, Stewart, Mancienne, Blackstock, Connolly, Agyemang, Ephraim, Vine, Hall, Leigertwood.
Subs: Barker, Rowlands, Pickens, Lee, Balanta.

Ipswich Town: Bywater, De Vos, Bruce, Garvan, Williams, Lee, Castro, Haynes, Simpson, Quinn, Sumulikoski.
Subs: Colgan, Wright, Roberts, Trotter, Rhodes. QPR

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