LATE, late drama at Loftus Road saw QPR’s nine-game unbeaten home run come to an end, as Hull City snatched a last-minute victory.
Adama Diomande struck in the 90th minute in rather-fortuitous circumstances, with the ball deflecting off him and in after Rangers’ Rob Green and Grant Hall tangled following a Sam Clucas centre.
Just four minutes earlier, it looked like Sebastian Polter had earned the R’s a point, after the German powered home a header when Matt Phillips crossed expertly from the left.
A mostly-unentertaining Championship affair, Abel Hernandez opened the scoring for the visitors in the 61st minute.
Hoops boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink made four changes to the R’s side that drew 1-1 at home against Huddersfield Town on Monday.
Gabriele Angella, Tjaronn Chery, Ale Faurlin and Polter all came into the starting XI.
Making way were Leroy Fer and Daniel Tozser, who dropped to the substitutes’ bench, while Sandro and Clint Hill didn’t make the squad altogether.
Also getting back into the mix were Jamie Mackie, Michael Petrasso and Samba Diakite, who earned spots on the bench.
Promotion-chasing Hull – third in the Championship before the kick-off – went into the game with a good recent record against Rangers, having not lost in the last six meetings, winning two and drawing four. However, the Tigers were without an away win in the league since early November.
The first efforts on goal came from the visiting side. First Mo Diame, then Ahmed Elmohamady, who both struck wide from outside of the box, not troubling R’s goalkeeper Green.
The returning Chery then replied for QPR, with a good effort from 25-yards out which was dipping, but unfortunately just too late as it sailed harmlessly over the crossbar.
The first big chance of the match fell to Rangers in the 17th minute. After Jake Livermore’s misplaced pass, Junior Hoilett broke clear before releasing Polter, whose blast on goal was well blocked by Livermore, atoning for his earlier error.
There were cries for a penalty from the away end soon after, as Diame went down after a tussle with Paul Konchesky following a corner. Referee Keith Stroud waved away the appeals.
The Hoops then threatened again. Good work from Grant Hall forced a corner, which he also subsequently met in the air, causing havoc in the visitors’ box. The ball then fell back to the corner taker, Faurlin, whose powerful strike was turned over by Hull custodian Allan McGregor.
The deadlock couldn’t be broken before half-time. Shortly before the whistle for the break was sounded, Chery’s corner struck Faurlin just six-yards out, but he couldn’t divert the ball towards goal.
Hull nearly opened the scoring on the hour mark. Elmohamady’s cross found Clucas inside the box, whose volley was blocked by home captain Nedum Onuoha.
The visitors did, however, make it 1-0 just one minute later.
Diame’s chip found an unmarked Hernandez, who swept home in fine fashion, giving Green no chance as his superb left-foot volley flew into the bottom right-hand corner.
In response, Rangers went close 10 minutes later as McGregor’s clearance fell to Konchesky, who hit the side-netting with a thunderous drive.
The energetic Diame then found himself in space inside the R’s box, but could not direct his shot on target from an acute angle.
As the clock ran down, Hasselbaink opted to bring on Fer and Mackie for Karl Henry and Hoilett, in an attempt to salvage a point from the game.
Substitute Fer almost levelled matters in the 84th minute after meeting a Phillips corner, but he was unable to get his effort on target.
However, Rangers did equalise four minutes from time.
Phillips again provided the assist, with his deadly centre from the left headed home in emphatic fashion by Polter.
Parity restored but, unfortunately for QPR, Hull struck a killer blow in the final minute.
Clucas sent over a cross from the left and when Green and Hall collided six yards from goal, the ball bounced off the leg of Diomande and in.