QPR 1-2 Sheffield Wednesday: Carlos Carvalhal's side edge closer to play-offs
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 17/04/17 6:40pm
Sheffield Wednesday moved a step closer to the Sky Bet Championship play-offs with a 2-1 victory at QPR.
Daniel Pudil's 31st-minute strike proved to be the winner after Adam Reach's opener had been cancelled out by Idrissa Sylla's 10th goal of the season for Rangers.
The win moves Wednesday up a place to fifth in the table courtesy of rivals Leeds losing 1-0 at home to Wolves.
Rangers, meanwhile, have lost five matches in a row and sit just six points above the relegation zone with three games left.
Wednesday dominated most of the first half and went ahead in the 12th minute when Pudil's left-wing cross ricocheted into the path of Reach, who blasted in from near the edge of the six-yard box.
Sylla equalised from a similar position nine minutes later. After Jamie Mackie exchanged passes with Ryan Manning and went down in the box, the loose ball rolled to Sylla, who fired past keeper Keiren Westwood at the near post.
But the Owls hit back just after the half-hour mark, when Pudil followed up to head home after goalkeeper Alex Smithies had managed to keep out Jordan Rhodes' header from Ross Wallace's right-wing free-kick.
Wallace might then have made it 3-1 had Jack Robinson not thwarted him with a last-ditch challenge after the winger had been found by Reach's pass.
Westwood denied Sylla a second goal shortly before half-time, tipping over the striker's header from Robinson's long throw.
And Jake Bidwell missed a decent chance to equalise a couple of minutes into the second half by volleying over from inside the penalty area after Wednesday were unable to properly clear Luke Freeman's free-kick.
The hosts maintained their early second-half pressure and had appeals for a penalty waved away after Westwood clattered into Mackie on the right-hand side of the area.
On-loan Brighton winger Kazenga LuaLua, brought on as a half-time substitute for the R's, then sent a wayward effort high and wide of the target as Ian Holloway's side appeared to run out of ideas.
The visitors remained a threat and Rhodes had a header saved by Smithies, Barry Bannan sent a long-range effort narrowly off target and Pudil headed over from Bannan's corner.
QPR boss Holloway brought target man Matt Smith on for the final 15 minutes and switched to three up front in an attempt to find a second equaliser, and it almost worked as Smith headed wide from Bidwell's late cross, but Wednesday held on for the win.
QPR boss Ian Holloway:
"It's just very frustrating. It would be nice to get three points and leave us with only six to play for. If we can get three in the next game at Brentford then everybody can just breath and we can start again.
"Did we deserve to lose? Honestly? No. I think that's a draw, but unfortunately they saw it out and we didn't. The boys keep going and we've got three games to put this season to bed so we can catch a team like Wednesday (next season).
"We've looked dangerous and we just need to get the goals to get the points to get us over the line and earn the right to be a Championship side."
Sheffield Wednesday boss Carlos Carvalhal:
"We are very strong mentally - the mentality of this team is very strong. When you play twice in three days, physical teams can cause you problems and it's not easy to play twice in such a short time.
"But we are very strong and the confidence is high. We have four wins in a row and the mentality is really strong, which is why we achieved the three points today. We knew before this game that it was one of the more difficult ones for us. I thought we were fantastic."