QPR 1-0 Sunderland: Ebere Eze wins it as Black Cats goalie sees red card
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 10/03/18 7:30pm
Sunderland goalkeeper Jason Steele was sent off as his side's relegation worries worsened with a 1-0 defeat by QPR at Loftus Road, where Ebere Eze netted a second-half winner.
Teenage forward Eze, making his first league start for the R's, scored after 62 minutes with a nicely-taken goal which also involved a touch of good fortune.
The 19-year-old turned away from Lee Cattermole and passed to Matt Smith, whose poor control inadvertently resulted in him nudging the ball back into the path of Eze, who slotted past stand-in keeper Lee Camp.
Sunderland, bottom of the Sky Bet Championship table, have now not won in nine matches and have won just one of their last 12.
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The match swung away from them after Steele was sent off four minutes into the second half following an horrendous error.
Attempting to prevent Darnell Furlong's punt forward reaching Paul Smyth, Steele raced from his line and misjudged the bounce of the ball.
Stranded five yards outside his penalty area, Steele reached over his head and used his hand to divert the ball away from Smyth, denying the Rangers youngster what would have been a simple tap in.
Referee Rob Jones duly produced the red card, prompting Sunderland boss Chris Coleman to send former QPR man Camp on in place of forward Joel Asoro.
Josh Scowen clipped the resulting free-kick over the bar - and the 10 men of Sunderland then almost went in front.
Joel Lynch, on as a half-time substitute, cleared Ashley Fletcher's goal-bound header from Adam Matthews' left-wing cross - although he almost headed into his own net in the process.
Rangers responded strongly to that scare, with Camp saving a shot from Smyth and Jake Bidwell crossing for Smith to head wide before Eze eventually broke the deadlock.
Target man Smith missed a great chance to double Rangers' lead, shooting straight at Camp after being put through by Luke Freeman.
Camp then saved Furlong's header from Freeman's left-wing corner and pushed away a curling effort from substitute Bright Osayi-Samuel.
Smith then had a late goal disallowed for offside when he nodded in from a yard out after Camp had failed to gather Freeman's corner.
Ian Holloway: "I'm delighted with the crowd, because we didn't play very well, we didn't get the right shape that they played and it caused problems - we thought they would be 3-4-3. We didn't get booed off at half-time, when lots of times you would, and in the end we saw a young kid's talent get us something out of nothing.
"Some of the talent I see every day from these young fellas is frightening and to do it in a Championship game when you need to isn't easy. We've managed to grind out something. We managed to dig in there. It wasn't the prettiest, but we'll take that and I'm delighted the young lad is showing why I've put faith in him."
Chris Coleman: "We've got to keep going. The teams around us keep dangling carrots in front of us and as long as they're not pulling away then we have to keep going. If we can just get that win we can close the gap to a point. The players have got to show heart.
"To have the keeper sent off five minutes into the second half, you can easily think: 'Here we go again. It's never going to change'. We get a man sent off and then concede. But the boys didn't buckle today in terms of their grit. We kept going until the end. It was always going to be hard for us after the sending-off. We lost, but we showed a bit of personality. We didn't whimper out of this one. We were in the game all through the game."