GRANT Hall’s late header saw Rangers come from behind to earn a point against recently-relegated Huddersfield Town, on a day when the club officially launched the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium.
Both goals came after half-time – visitors Huddersfield opening the scoring from the penalty spot in the 49th minute through Karlan Grant.
But the R’s battled back to earn a deserved share of the spoils in W12, with skipper Hall meeting Ryan Manning’s left-wing free-kick at the Loft End in the 83rd minute.
Unsurprisingly, Hoops boss Mark Warburton named an unchanged starting XI following last weekend’s 2-1 opening-day victory at Stoke City.
Nahki Wells was named among Rangers’ substitutes after returning to the club on loan from Burnley on deadline day, while there was also a spot on the bench for Todd Kane – one of QPR’s 15 summer signings.
The R’s – in a 4-2-3-1 formation – lined up as: Joe Lumley; Angel Rangel, Hall, Yoann Barbet, Manning; Geoff Cameron, Luke Amos; Bright Osayi-Samuel, Josh Scowen, Ebere Eze; Jordan Hugill.
Some extreme wind and rain made it difficult for both teams to get into any kind of rhythm early on.
But once conditions got better, the R’s worked opportunities for themselves thanks to some intricate passing play.
In the seventh minute, Eze eventually unleashed a fierce low effort from 12 yards that was tipped away by Kamil Grabara.
Then, four minutes later, Osayi-Samuel’s blast on the angle was guided over the crossbar by the Huddersfield ‘keeper.
A positive start by the R’s, though the hosts were given a bit of a let-off in the 13th minute.
After QPR surrendered possession in their own half – and Huddersfield broke forward in numbers – Lumley twice came to Rangers’ rescue to deny both Grant and Juninho Bacuna.
But the R’s were soon back on the offensive. In the 19th minute, Barbet found Hugill in space on the edge of the box, who blasted over when it perhaps would have been better to slip in Osayi-Samuel.
Seven minutes later, West Ham loanee Hugill also glanced a header wide, following Rangel’s dinked cross into the penalty area.
Warburton will have been pleased enough with what he saw from his side in the first half, though Huddersfield weren’t exactly passengers and gave Lumley more food for thought nine minutes before the break – Alex Pritchard’s sighter from range forcing a smart block from the QPR goalkeeper.
The opening period ended without a goal, but it didn’t take long for the deadlock to be broken after the break.
Half-time substitute Elias Kachunga broke clear of Rangers’ defence and, as he bore down on goal, Barbet came in from behind to send the striker tumbling.
A clear penalty and the subsequent spot-kick was impressively dispatched by Grant, despite Lumley diving the right way.
Rangers behind, then – and Warburton wasted little time in making a first QPR change. Ilias Chair replaced Scowen.
Chair was almost instantly involved, his range effort in the 57th minute forcing a fine one-handed stop by Grabara.
Three minutes later, Hugill also tried his luck – but could only direct Eze’s corner over with his head from close range.
Eager for an equaliser, Rangers continued to try to breach a Huddersfield defence that had been defiant so far.
In the 68th minute, Rangel’s cross-shot was cut out by Grabara while, three minutes later, Eze’s effort was blocked on its way to goal following good work by Chair.
A second R’s change followed that chance, with Kane brought on for his QPR debut in the place of Rangel.
Rangers went mightily close to opening their account in the 77th minute – Osayi-Samuel cutting in from the left before curling only inches over from 25 yards.
Then came the Hoops’ third and final sub, with Wells introduced for Amos in the 82nd minute.
QPR were finally level a minute later.
Manning sent over a free-kick from the left and, when Hall met the ball at the back post, the R’s skipper planted his header into the far corner.
Another grandstand finale awaited.
Rangers, backed by a now-partisan home crowd, proceeded to crank up the pressure further thereafter.
A minute from the end of normal time, Eze nutmegged his marker before his low shot was collected by Grabara.
Five minutes of stoppage time were subsequently signalled but, despite QPR's best efforts, the visiting shot-stopper couldn’t be beaten again.