Watch: QPR keeper salvages point with last-gasp header
Sunderland 2 Queens Park Rangers 2
Queens Park Rangers goalkeeper Seny Dieng grabbed a dramatic stoppage-time equaliser to complete a comeback at the Stadium of Light.
Dieng had already made a number of decent saves and made another brilliant one after his 92nd-minute header to ensure Michael Beale’s team returned south with a point.
In doing so he became the first goalkeeper to score for QPR and it prevented Sunderland, who had a two-goal first half lead, from climbing to the top of the Championship.
Ross Stewart’s predatory finish after Dieng had denied Dan Neil had put Sunderland on track in the 31st minute and strike partner Ellis Simms poked in the second nine minutes later.
But after Ilias Chair’s brilliant 25-minute free-kick found the top corner with three minutes remaining, Dieng charged up field for a late corner to head in the equaliser.
Seny Dieng, that’s the tweet!
— QPR FC (@QPR) August 13, 2022
Michael Beale, the QPR manager, said: “When Seny went up an assistant said 'are you happy?' I said 'I am not going to bring him back now'.
“When the goalkeeper goes up, who picks him up? He attacks both balls in. Crazy game. Seny is a modest young man, says few words, but what a magic moment for him. Someone just told me he is the first goalkeeper to score for QPR.”
Even after Chair’s brilliance had pulled one back and Dieng had levelled things up, Sunderland found an extra gear to finish and almost won it anyway, only for Dieng to make a stunning save to deny Stewart a winner low to his right. From the rebound Elliot Embleton hit the bar.
'I have not been done by a goalkeeper before'
Alex Neil, the Sunderland manager, said: “I might be pleased in the morning. I am not pleased at the moment. The only way to fix that was to get my goalkeeper to mark their goalkeeper, it’s numbers. It’s 10 versus 11.
“I have not been done by a goalkeeper before. Even then Ross has a chance with his left foot, the keeper makes a good save, Elliot hits the underside of the bar. When your luck is not in your luck is not in.”
Sunderland remain unbeaten at the start of their first season back in the Championship after collecting seven points from their opening three games.
But QPR had their chances before Dieng’s heroics, with Sinclair Armstrong, Lyndon Dykes and Albert Adomah all going close.