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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

QPR Go Out of The Cup (Of Course)

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QPR travelled to Burnley with a weakened team, took the lead in the second half; quickly lost it...And then went out in extra time in the 119th minute (shades of the Playoff Final). Attendance: 3,760! QPR would have played WBA in the Fourth Round.

- Minute-by-minute Report

QPR Official Site

Burnley substitute Jay Rodriguez sent QPR crashing out of the FA Cup with a last minute goal in extra time.

The Clarets super-sub prolonged the R's third round misery, with a toe-poked finish in the dying seconds at Turf Moor.

Earlier, Steven Thompson cancelled out Samuel Di Carmine's opening strike in the 54th minute when he bundled home from close range, with both sides passing up glorious chances to snatch victory.

Martin Rowlands struck the bar, and then fired wide after powering through the Clarets defence, with Chris Eagles firing over from 15 yards.

Change was in the air for this replay, as Matteo Alberti, Gavin Mahon, Emmanuel Ledesma, Fitz Hall and Samuel Di Carmine were all handed starts.

Alberti, Mahon and Ledesma joined Martin Rowlands and Mikele Leigertwood in midfield, indicating a slight alteration in tactics by Manager Paulo Sousa. Di Carmine cut a lone furrow up front, whilst Hall slotted in at right back, alongside regular defenders Damion Stewart, Kaspars Gorkss and Damien Delaney.

Burnley made changes to the side that lost to Swansea City on Saturday. The suspended Michael Duff was replaced by Rangers old boy Clarke Carlisle and Steven Thompson spearheaded the Clarets forward line, alongside Robbie Blake who replaced Martin Paterson at short notice, with Adam Kay added to the bench.

Both sides started tentatively, with Rangers favouring the long ball up to Di Carmine. It was the Italian who linked up expertly with Argentine midfielder Ledesma, playing a neat one two before bursting through. Burnley skipper Caldwell, however, did ever so well to deny him with an inch perfect tackle.

Ledesma finally enticed the giant Burnley keeper into action as he picked up possession on the right, cut back inside onto his favoured left foot, and fired off a snapshot that Brian Jensen got down well to save.

By no means was it all one way traffic, and when Blake teed up the newly introduced Alan Mahon for the latter to smash a thunderous effort on target, the travelling Rangers faithful could have been forgiven for sensing a touch of déjà vu.

Stephen Jordan found Blake with a quick throw in, minutes later, and when the Clarets fans favourite jinked past Leigertwood and powered a shot at goal, Cerny had to be on his toes to hold under pressure.

And so, with Cerny denying Blake the opener, the scores remained level at the break.

Burnley began the second half, clearly fresh from an encouraging word or two from their Manager Owen Coyle. A series of corners were bravely defended by the R's before Carlisle nodded wide when unmarked at the back post.

Back came Rangers, and Delaney's fine, low cross deserved a hooped shirt in the box to prod it home. Clarets full-back Jordan had other ideas and nodded it out for a corner to clear the danger.

However, it was the R's who took the lead seconds later when Leigertwood dispossessed Mahon in the middle of the park and drew Carlisle before threading an inch-perfect pass for Di Carmine. The Italian took one touch to set himself, before curling an exquisite right-footed strike beyond the despairing dive of Jensen.

Buoyed by the goal, Rangers looked to double their advantage just 60 seconds later. In similar fashion to the error that led to the R's opener, Rowlands robbed Wade Elliott, before playing a neat one-two with Di Carmine and firing a rocket that clipped the top of the bar.

Undeterred by this spell of Rangers pressure, the Clarets struck back through Thompson. Cerny's weak punch fell to Joey Gudjonsson whose initial effort was blocked on the line by Mahon, and with the ball loose in the six yard box, the big Scot was gifted time and space to smash home off the underside of the crossbar.

Thompson went close again minutes later when he headed wide from a Graham Alexander cross, as Burnley continued to press for a second goal.

Wave upon wave of claret shirts were stubbornly held at bay by the impressive Stewart and Gorkss. But the R's had that little bit of luck you need in cup ties in the 77th minute. Chris Eagles burst down the left and his attempted cross bounced off the top of the bar and just beyond the stretching Thompson.

Rangers' gaffer Sousa made his second change after that narrow escape, introducing Romone Rose for Mahon.

Sousa played his final ace in the pack, with goal-scorer Di Carmine making way for Iceland striker Heidar Helguson.

And it very nearly paid dividends. Leigertwood picked out Helguson who cleverly laid the ball off for the rampaging Rowlands. The R's skipper continued his lung-busting run through the middle and, with no options left or right, drove full bore into the Clarets box before rifling an effort wide of the target to the dismay of the Rangers faithful.

The last few minutes proved a total contradiction to the rest of the match as both teams searched for the winner. Back and forth the tide turned and Eagles thought he'd won it deep in the 90th minute when he poked home from close range. The linesman, however, thought otherwise and promptly flagged the Burnley winger offside.

That drama brought the curtain down on the 90 minutes, meaning extra time, and potentially penalties, would decide this Cup tie.

It was the hosts who opened extra time with a chance as youngster Alex MacDonald cut inside Delaney and drilled an effort at the feet of Cerny, who gathered with ease.

Helguson equalised the disallowed goal tally at one apiece when he coolly slotted home following good work from Rowlands but once again the linesman thought otherwise and raised his flag.

As the rain lashed down, the opening period of extra time drew to a close.

Rose let rip from 25-yards with the second period not seconds old, which needed a strong save from Jensen, whilst Eagles sent a rasping, dipping 15-yard volley narrowly over the bar, as the momentum swung back and forth.

Rangers continue to pose a greater attacking threat and left-back Delaney thought he'd won it when his deflected shot had Jensen scrambling. Unfortunately for the Hoops, he just managed to keep it out in the nick of time.

But the real drama was saved for the final minute, when Rodriguez capitalised on hesitancy in the R's back four to prod home ahead of the onrushing Cerny, to dump Rangers out of the Cup.
Burnley: Jensen, Alexander, Carlisle, Caldwell, Gudjonsson (MacDonald (84), Elliot, McCann (A.Mahon 20), Blake (Rodriguez (68), Jordan, Thompson, Eagles. Subs: Penney, Kalvenes, Akinbiyi, McKay. Scorers: Thompson (60), Rodriguez (119)
Bookings: Caldwell (67), A.Mahon (87)
Red Cards:
QPR: Cerny, Delaney, Stewart, G. Mahon (Rose 79), Hall, Leigertwood, Gorkss, Rowlands, Ledesma (Ephraim 55), Alberti, Di Carmine (Helguson 84).
Subs: Crowther, Ramage, Connolly, Borrowdale.
Scorers: Di Carmine (54)
Bookings: Delaney (45+2), Alberti (113)
Red Cards:
Referee: Mr C H Webster Attendance: 3,760 QPR

Burnley Official Site

A 120th minute poachers goal from tenage striker Jay Rodriguez earned the Clarets an FA Cup fourth round tie away to West Bromwich Albion.

The Clarets trailed to Samuel Di Carmine's second half strike before Steven Thompson took the game to extra time with a quality finish.

And Rodriguez, who scored a famous late goal to defeat Fulham early in Burnley's Carling Cup run, popped up again with almost the last touch of the game to settle the tie in the most dramatic of circumstances ... and against all odds!

The Clarets were dealt a blow in the warm up when striker Martin Paterson picked up an injury and had to be replaced by Robbie Blake, with youngster Adam Kay replacing the striker on the bench.

Both sides had plenty of possession in the early exchanges but neither could muster an effort on goal in the opening quarter of an hour.

Skipper Steven Caldwell averted the first real danger when he nipped in front of Ledesma as the striker raced through on 15 minutes.

The injury news got worse for Owen Coyle's side on 19 minutes when midfielder Chris McCann limped off to be replaced by Alan Mahon.

Burnley's only real attempt was a long range effort from Icelandic midfielder Joey Gudjonsson which troubled a scattering of fans in the Jimmy McIllroy Stand rather than testing QPR keeper Radak Cerny.

Substitute Mahon had the Clarets first effort on target when he smashed a neat layoff from Blake towards goal only to see Cerny smother comfortably.

The rest of the first half saw both sides continue to stroke the ball around nicely and there was little to excite the modest crowd inside Turf Moor until Blake had a long range effort well saved by Cerny in first half injury time.

The Clarets applied the pressure early in the second half and Clarke Carlisle - playing against his former club - headed just wide on 48 minutes as Burnley looked to take the advantage.

Despite that pressure, it was the visitors who broke the deadlock on 53 minutes through Italian striker Di Carmine who benefited from sloppy play from Mahon and slotted a neat shot under the body

The tie was almost out of sight two minutes later when Rowlands took advantage of an Elliott slip and played a nice one-two with goalscorer Di Carmine before smashing a shot against the crossbar.

The Clarets were back on level terms on 59 minutes through Steven Thompson who stepped past a defender and fired home, off the underside of the bar, after Gudjonsson's initial shot was blocked on the line.

Caldwell picked up his fifth booking of the season for a foul on Di Carmine on 66 minutes which means he now misses next Wednesday's Carling Cup semi final second leg against Tottenham Hotspur.

Thompson almost doubled his - and the Clarets tally - on 70 minutes with a powerful header from 12 yards out which flashed just wide of Cerny's far post.

Chris Eagles almost put Burnley ahead on 76 minutes but he couldn't direct Graham Alexander's superb cross goalwards.

Cerny got a hand on a Mahon cross two minutes later to direct it away from the on-rushing Thompson as the Burnley fans sense their side were in the ascendancy.

The lively Rowlands really should have put QPR into the fourth round on 86 minutes but he somehow managed to fire over after breaking through the Burnley defence.

Another late flurry from Rangers saw Carlisle nick the ball away from Damion Stewart in the six yard box before the Clarets broke well and had shots from Jay Rodriguez and Thompson blocked.

Eagles had the ball in the back of the net in injury time but he was adjudged to be in an offside position when he turned substitute Alex MacDonald's shot towards goal.

That was the last action of a largely disappointing 90 minutes in which neither side could find the breakthrough.

Youngster MacDonald had the first effort of extra time on 97 minutes when he collected the ball out wide, jinxed inside the full back and struck a shot straight at Cerny.

Rowlands had the ball in the net on 102 minutes but - much to the annoyance of the QPR bench - the midfielder was flagged offside.

Ledesma had a shot well saved by Jensen two minutes into the second period of extra time and Thompson's cross was knocked behind for a corner just seconds later as both sides stepped up the tempo.

The resulting corner was eventually cleared to Eagles who fired his shot just over the bar.

Jensen used unorthodox methods to keep out a deflected shot on 113 minutes as the tie almost slipped away from the Clarets again.

Burnley continued to live on the edge and the ball was scrambled away on 115 as the visitors looked to nick the game late on.

Rangers were made to pay or their missed chances when Rodriguez sealed Burnley's place in the fourth round in the final minute of extra time.

The youngster nicked the ball off Stewart, raced into the box and slotted the ball past the onrushing Cerny. Burnley

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