Queens Park Rangers looked like they were heading out of the Championship playoffs on Monday, as they were trailing Wigan Athletic deep into the second half.
Having drawn the first leg of their semi-final playoff tie against the Latics at the DW Stadium, Harry Redknapp’s side needed just a 1-0 win in the second leg to book their place in the final against Derby County at London’s Wembley Stadium. However, QPR fell behind as early as the ninth minute at Loftus Road, thanks to James Perch’s goal.
Charlie Austin is the London club’s top scorer and has netted many an important goal. The 24-year-old striker was on target again from the penalty spot on 73 minutes to equalise for the hosts. Gary Caldwell brought down Junior Hoilett inside the area, and Austin buried the spot kick.
The match went into extra time as it finished 1-1 after 90 minutes. Austin again proved to be the star for QPR, as he scored in the sixth minute of the extended period what turned out to be the winning goal, turning in Bobby Zamora's ball. It stayed that way until the full-time whistle, as Redknapp and his men booked their place in the final and retained their hopes of an immediate return to the Premier League.
Many neutrals would have wanted Wigan to bounce back to the Premier League after being relegated last season. Under Uwe Rosler, the Latics pushed on from a lowly 14th place to a playoff spot and were on a remarkable journey back to the English top flight.
However, there was one England international who was pleased to see QPR get the better of Wigan. Andros Townsend may be a Tottenham Hotspur player, but the winger still has some affection for Rangers, having featured for them on loan in the second half of last season. The 22-year-old failed to prevent the London outfit from suffering the drop and is now pleased to find that they are on their way back to the Premier League.
Well done QPR!!! One game to go!!— andros townsend (@andros_townsend) May 12, 2014
Will Queens Park Rangers win the Championship playoff final?