Egan snatches point for high-flying Sheffield United at QPR
John Egan’s goal in the final seconds rescued a point for promotion-chasing Sheffield United in a 1-1 draw at QPR.
Egan atoned for a terrible mistake which handed Rangers an early lead at Loftus Road.
Ilias Chair’s fortuitous opener after 11 minutes – the Morocco international’s fourth goal of the season – was a much-needed boost for Rangers following four consecutive home defeats.
After defender Egan gave the ball away while trying to play out from the back, Chris Willock teed up Chair, whose shot deflected off Egan, completely wrong-footing goalkeeper Wes Foderingham.
But the home side were unable to hold on for what would have been Neil Critchley’s first home win since taking over as R’s boss.
After Enda Stevens’ cross from the left was half-cleared back to him, he headed the ball towards Egan, whose close-range shot deflected in off Rob Dickie.
Rangers enjoyed plenty of possession during the first half and, after putting them ahead, Chair shot over from near the edge of the penalty area.
At the other end, goalkeeper Seny Dieng produced a smart save to deny Billy Sharp and kept out an effort from Ollie Norwood before Stevens went close to equalising when he fired narrowly wide of the target.
QPR continued to have the upper hand early in the second half, with Willock shooting over after collecting Lyndon Dykes’ flick-on and Osman Kakay seeing a long-range shot deflected wide.
Dykes has struggled in front of goal this season but his tireless work up front was crucial for Rangers, while the recalled Willock looked almost back to his best after struggling since returning from injury.
United struggled to create openings before excellent chances fell to Sharp and Iliman Ndiaye in quick succession.
Sharp sneaked between Kakay and Dickie to reach a ball over the top but then lifted it over Dieng and onto the top of the net.
Ndiaye then weaved his way into the box and was denied by Dieng at point-blank range.
As the visitors pushed for a leveller, Ndiaye appealed in vain for a penalty after going down under a challenge from Dickie, and Dieng produced a near-post save to deny substitute Daniel Jebbison.
But United’s persistence was eventually rewarded and Egan’s goal left second-placed United five rather than six points behind Sky Bet Championship leaders Burnley, while QPR’s point took them up to 12th.