Saturday, May 24, 2014 6:11 pm
A stoppage time strike from Bobby Zamora gave 10-man Queens Park Rangers a 1-0 win over Derby County in the final of the Championship Play-off at Wembley Stadium and secured promotion back to the Premier League as a result.
Harry Redknapp’s QPR were on the ropes for much of the last half hour after midfielder Gary O’Neil was sent off for bringing down Derby’s Johnny Russell and preventing a goalscoring opportunity.
Derby came into the final in better form, having won eight of their last 10 matches while QPR had only mustered four wins in as many matches.
And it was Derby County that slightly had the upper hand but in a match with few clearcut chances at either end, the first half ended goalless.
QPR on their part lost midfielder Nico Krancjar midway through the first half, with O’Neil following in the second half after his challenge on the edge of the area earned him a straight red from referee Lee Mason.
Derby squandered the ensuing free-kick and were subsequently denied on two occasions by QPR goalkeeper Robert Green before substitute Zamora proved the QPR hero with the match winner in the 91st minute.
QPR look set to earn an £80m windfall at least with the win, which returns the London club to the Premier League just a season after being relegated.
QPR join Championship winners Leicester City and runners-up Burnley as the new teams to compete in next season’s Premier League.