Sport

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Hoops still searching for victory

Published 08/12/2012 | 17:44

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James McCarthy's brace prevented QPR's first league victory

QPR equalled an unwanted record as they had to settle for a 2-2 draw against Wigan that made it 16 games without a victory for the west London side.

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Not since Sheffield United in the 1990/91 season had a team gone so many top-flight games into a campaign without breaking their duck.

James McCarthy gave Wigan the lead in the 19th minute with his first goal for almost two years before Ryan Nelsen levelled seven minutes later. Substitute Djibril Cisse looked like he might have won it for Rangers when he put them ahead against the run of play with 19 minutes remaining but McCarthy netted again three minutes later.

Rain swirled around the DW Stadium as play started and it was the visitors who began the brighter, with Ali Al Habsi punching away a Shaun Wright-Phillips cross-shot and then gratefully grabbing a long-range effort from Adel Taarabt.

Wigan had their first glimpse of goal in the 18th minute when Jose Bosingwa fouled Jean Beausejour 25 yards out. Jordi Gomez tapped the free-kick to David Jones, who flicked the ball up and sent in a volley that Rob Green tipped over the bar.

The home fans did not have to wait long, though. The first corner was cleared but Beausejour's second delivery fell to McCarthy on the edge of the area and he drilled a volley into the bottom corner, via a helpful deflection off Jamie Mackie.

Wigan's lead lasted only seven minutes as Nelsen attacked Taarabt's corner at the near post with much more gusto than any of the defenders and, although Al Habsi got a hand to the ball, he could not keep it out.

McCarthy found himself in the right place again five minutes after half-time when a fortunate ricochet sent him clean through on goal but this time Rob Green was out smartly and the midfielder shot straight at him. Rangers should have gone ahead in the 68th minute when Jamie Mackie teed up Stephane Mbia on the edge of the box but he shinned his shot and Al Habsi pushed the ball behind.

Careless defending from Wigan ensured they got another chance three minutes later, though, as Wright-Phillips was given space down the left to pick out Cisse, who slid the ball beyond Al Habsi's reach.

Wigan immediately went in search of an equaliser and were level again three minutes later. Beausejour squeezed in a cross from the left and picked out McCarthy in the middle, who poked his shot into the bottom corner from 12 yards. Wigan came closest to nicking the points with three minutes to go as Arouna Kone drove into the area and set up Gomez for a shot from 16 yards that was clawed away by Green.

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