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QPR Official Site - U18S: INTER 1, QPR 3
Mitchell hat-trick fires R's into all English final ...
AARON Mitchell’s fairytale hat-trick fired QPR's Under-18s into the Newark International Soccer Classic final at the expense of Inter Milan on Friday night.
Rangers came from behind to overturn a one-goal deficit as Steve Gallen’s side cancelled out Inter’s opener with a scintillating second half showing.
Three goals in 30 minutes from midfielder Mitchell – the first from the penalty spot – capped a remarkable comeback as the R's finished top of Group A, setting up a mouth-watering all English affair with Liverpool on Saturday in the process.
Ahead of the group decider, Gallen made two changes from the side which fired five past PDA last time out as Mark Smith returned between the sticks at the expense of Conor Hudnott while George Butler replaced Callum O’Sullivan in midfield.
Rangers were quickest out of the blocks, twice coming close to making the perfect start within three minutes.
Reece Grego-Cox found space in behind the Inter defence before picking out Olamide Shodipo, whose powerful stooping header was palmed over the bar by Ionut Radu in the Milan goal. From Brandon Comley’s resulting corner Cole Kpekawa rose highest but couldn’t prevent his header flying over the crossbar.
The early pressure sparked Inter into life, with a succession of near misses on the R’s goal. Federico Di Marco’s free-kick forced a fine one-handed save out of Smith before Darnell Furlong was forced to scramble Samuel Appiah’s downward header off the line.
Pedro Delgado was next to try his luck but his long-range effort drifted harmlessly wide before Appiah latched onto a long ball only to see his goalbound effort deflect wide.
Respite for Rangers came in the form of Grego-Cox’s foray forward shortly before the half hour mark. The R’s striker burst clear of his marker but could only shoot straight at the goalkeeper.
After seemingly weathering the storm, it was Inter who struck first with a stunning goal three minutes before the break. Enrico Baldini drifted inside before delivering a sumptuous effort into the top corner, leaving Smith motionless in the R’s goal.
Rangers went in search of an equaliser from the re-start, forcing the Italians deep at the start of the second half.
Grego-Cox - working tirelessly in attack - was finally rewarded for his efforts shortly before the hour mark, outpacing the Inter backline before being ceremoniously hauled down in the area. On spot-kick duties was Mitchell, whose penalty ballooned high into the top right corner to bring the R’s level.
Inter pressed for an immediate reply but the R’s defence stood firm while Delgado wasted a free-kick, blazing over from a dangerous position. The Inter frontman spurned an even clearer chance on 74 minutes as Di Marco’s pace posed problems down the R’s left. His cross fell perfectly for Delgado at the near post but the ball somehow squirmed wide.
It proved pivotal as the R’s were clinical at the other end when Mitchell doubled his tally following another surge from Furlong down the right. His inch-perfect cross found the midfielder, whose header soared into the top corner to edge Rangers in front for the first time.
With their tails up, Gallen's youngsters set the seal on a momentous victory two minutes from time as Mitchell completed a famous evening in style. After bursting through one challenge, he took one touch before unleashing an unstoppable half volley into the far corner.
There was little time for Milan to react as Rangers closed out proceedings in the dying stages, safe in the knowledge their place in Saturday's final was soundly secured.
QPR: Smith, Furlong, Kakay, Comley (O’Sullivan 90), Wise, Kpekawa, Komodikis (Page 85), Mitchell, Grego-Cox (Mitford 79), Butler, Shodipo (Young 70). QPR
Club announce QPR will be playing in Red and Black Hoopsvs Leeds
QPR REPORT Q&A WITH LEEDS FAN
Interview by MaudesFishnChips With David from Leeds' The Scratching Shed www.thescratchingshed.com
thanks to david from the www.thescratchingshed.com
how/why are you involved with the scratching shed?
I created the site in 2008. I'd travelled abroad with a Leeds United Supporter's Club during our European days and subsequently grown quite close to a group of fans whose lives eventually took them in different directions, several ending up overseas. Those who emigrated and could no longer attend Elland Road regularly I remained in constant contact with via email and phone, fielding questions about the games and how individual players were performing. Ultimately, this led to me writing match reports and publishing them online and this formed the basis of The Scratching Shed.
how long have you supported leeds?( your recollections of being first introduced to your team)
Always. I first started attending games in the early 90's and have been a regular ever since.
How I came to be a Leeds fan is something of a mystery. I grew up locally so that was probably the decisive factor, but my Dad supports one of our biggest rivals while the rest of my family had no real interest in football at the time.
can you name some highs/lows of you leeds supporting years?
I vaguely remember winning the title in 1992, but the European trips were my personal highlight. There's nothing quite like a trip abroad following your football club, joining hundreds/thousands of fans in strange places, united by a shared love for Leeds United. The manner in which we secured promotion from League One on the final day of the season will live long in the memory too - down to ten men, a goal behind and needing all 3 points to go up. Then the hometown boy Jonny Howson levels it before Jermaine Beckford ends his Leeds career with the goal which sent us up. Incredible day.
The lows would be relegation from the Premier League and the Championship, closely followed by losing play-off finals and the 8 years of Ken Bates.
your best starting leeds team spanning all era's.?
I'm no doubt forgetting a couple of names which should be included, but from my lifetime…
Harte, Woodgate, Radebe, Byram
Speed, Bowyer, Strachan, McAllister
how do leeds fans perceive current owners? what was ken bates like as a custodian? personally, how would you like to see your club run?
The current owners are doing well. They've made a huge effort to re-engage with fans since the fall of Bates' dictatorship and it really feels like we're now making some progress. There's a long way to go, but they've undone a lot of the unpopular decisions Ken Bates made, cleared out the staff who failed us for years and brought in a manager who fans have taken a genuine shine to. I can't remember the last time Leeds United fans felt so positive about our future.
As for Ken Bates, the man was a parasite. I wouldn't wish him on any football club.
is elland rd adequate for the clubs ambitions? how would you feel if current custodians wanted a move?
Couple of the stands could use a makeover but there's no reason we'd ever have to leave Elland Road. There's plenty of room for us to expand further should the current capacity ever become an issue.
your favourite ever leeds player? and why?(only one)
Lucas Radebe. I've met loads of Leeds United players over the years and Lucas is the only one who left me star struck. The guy is an absolute inspiration, his life story is the stuff Oscar-winning films are made of. To overcome the hardships he did (growing up in relative poverty, shot, injury-plagued, losing his wife) and rise to become one of the world's greatest defenders, a hero to Leeds United and South African fans alike, Lucas holds a special place in the hearts of people from all corners of the world.
It's difficult to do justice to Lucas in a couple of paragraphs, but he'll never be forgotten at Elland Road. Snubbing offers from Manchester United and Milan because he truly appreciated the opportunity we'd given him, Lucas had an unparalleled rapport with the fans and became fiercely loyal to Leeds United. Radebe was committed, hard-working, driven and passionate, but most of all, he was an exceptionally talented footballer and is an even greater human-being.
most hated rival? and why?
Most fans of my age would probably say Manchester United, but it's always been Chelsea for me. That my father supports them plays no small part in that decision, but they were considered our most hated rivals for many years, mostly as a result of some seriously bad-tempered clashes dating back to the late sixties/early seventies. I also blame them for Ken Bates.
neil warnock, love or hate? or whatever?
I don't hate Neil Warnock but I'm glad he's no longer the Leeds United manager, his refusal to accept responsibility for mistakes, the constant excuses and blame-games he plays, coupled with the 1980's style of football he insists upon make him one of the worst Leeds United managers I've ever known.
do you know of any past/present player or manager links between our clubs?
You have a couple of ex-Leeds players in your squad at present (Shaun Derry and Hogan Ephraim, who we loaned from you briefly), but we've gone through so many players over the last decade, there can't be many teams who aren't fielding an ex-Leeds United player at this point in time.
Having both experienced the joys of Neil Warnock anti-football, our former boss will no doubt get his fair share of punditry gigs this weekend. He's like a bitter ex-girlfriend we kicked to the curb, running around the country telling anyone who'll listen how bad we are in bed, failing to recognise his contribution to the terrible sex… I've taken this metaphor way too far, haven't I?
what is your, or general leeds fans view of QPR?(fans, players,owners, ground)
I doubt there's many Leeds fans with much of an opinion on QPR. The collection of billionaires you attracted was somewhat irritating, but the club itself holds no real significance to Leeds United. Without wishing to sound disrespectful, you're just one of 23 teams we have to beat this season. I don't think there's any real rivalry there and I doubt any Leeds fan would begrudge you success. Not keen on Barton though…
your prediction for saturday?
I'll be happy with a draw. 2-2.
what are your expectations of leeds this season and beyond?
I don't think we have the strength to challenge anywhere near the top of the table. Mid-table obscurity would be my prediction, but we've started strongly so could maybe make a push for play-offs (where we'll no doubt lose in the final… again…)
Going forward, I think we'll be back in the Prem within 2-3 years now Ken Bates has left the building. He bled us dry for years and we've really suffered as a consequence.
QPR vs LEEDS IN HISTORY
- Video from 1975/76: QPR "Win" The Title
QPR 0-1 Leeds Utd