Saturday 24 May 2014
A last-minute goal from Bobby Zamora sent Queens Park Rangers back to the Barclays Premier League at the first attempt as they beat Derby County 1-0 in the Championship play-off final at Wembley.
With their first shot on target in the 90th minute, the 33-year-old forward, who also fired West Ham United into the Barclays Premier League with the only goal in the 2005 play-off final, struck for 10-man QPR.
Derby dominated the first half but could not convert it to goals. Craig Forsyth headed a cross from Jamie Ward wide and Will Hughes shot over from the edge of the penalty area. QPR goalkeeper Rob Green was then forced to save Johnny Russell's deflected shot and to tip past the post Jamie Ward's inswinging free-kick.
QPR’s best chance was to top scorer Charlie Austin just before the hour but the striker shot wide after latching on to Armand Traore’s cut-back.
Harry Redknapp’s team had been the less dominant of the teams and their task was made harder with the dismissal in the 60th minute of Gary O'Neil for denying Russell a goalscoring opportunity.
With O’Neil dismissed, Derby ramped up the pressure but could not find a way past Green, who saved from Craig Bryson, Chris Martin and Simon Dawkins in a 10-minute spell.
Just as the match seemed to be heading to extra-time, Derby captain Richard Keogh miscontrolled the ball in the penalty area and Zamora curled in his shot with his left foot to seal the match.
Queens Park Rangers join the champions of the Championship, Leicester City, and Burnley in getting promoted to the Barclays Premier League. They will formally become members of the Premier League at the shareholders' meeting on 4 June. One of the founding members of the Premier League, 2014/15 will be QPR’s seventh in the competition.