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QPR edge closer to Premier League return after beating Wigan

BATTLE: QPR overcame Wigan 2-1 (aet) (PA)

QUEENS PARK Rangers came from behind to beat Wigan and keep their dream of a quick return to the a Premier League alive, thanks to two goals from Charlie Austin.

In the second minute Gary O'Neil hit a shot from 25 yards which flew over.

With nine minutes of the game gone Wigan took the lead. James McClean put a delightful cross into the box and James Perch slammed the ball into the net and stunned the QPR crowd. Callum McManaman was fouled in the build up but Mark Clattenburg played the advantage.

Just after the midway point of the first half, McClean went down in the QPR box but he was booked for diving. A minute later Wigan nearly doubled their lead when Perch crossed the ball into the Rangers box, but McManaman's deflected shot was saved by Rob Green.

With 38 minutes gone Charlie Austin directed a header towards goal but it was cleared by a combination of Scott Carson and McClean who was on the line. That was the first save that Carson had to make.

Just before the hour mark, Junior Hoilett put a cross-cum-shot into the Wigan box but it was pushed away to safety by Carson.

Rangers kept probing looking for the equaliser but lacked a cutting edge. Harry Redknapp sent Bobby Zamora on for the anonymous Kevin Doyle at the midway point of the second half. Wigan should have put the game out of QPR's reach but McClean somehow hit the post when it would have been easier to score.

With 69 minutes gone, Gary Caldwell brought Hoilett down inside the Wigan box and the referee awarded a penalty to the Hoops. Charlie Austin stepped up and sent Carson the wrong way to level the scores on the night. Ravel Morrison replaced O'Neil just after the spot kick.

With nine minutes of normal time left, a long punt found Zamora and time stood still as his chip looped just over the Wigan crossbar.

Moments later Barton hit a shot which was saved by Carson. There were no further goals and the game headed into extra time.

In the 95th minute QPR took the lead. Zamora flicked a ball, which looked like a lost cause, but Austin chased it down and flicked it past Carson. The Hoops fans nearly took the roof off the stands with their celebrations.

Austin nearly scored another in the 107th minute but his shot was tipped over by Carson. But for Austin's injury during the season, QPR probably would have gained automatic promotion.

In stoppage time of extra time Rob Kiernan nearly equalised but his shot was deflected for a corner. QPR put up a rear guard and were resolute in the last few minutes.

Redknapp's dream of bringing the hoops back to the Premier League at the first time of asking is still alive but Derby will provide a stiffer test on May 24. As for Wigan they will have to try again next season.

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