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Match Reports

Report: QPR 0-1 MK Dons

Cisse’s first Dons goal sends Robbie Neilson’s men through…

6 January 2018

MK Dons pulled off another Emirates FA Cup upset at Loftus Road to secure their place in the Fourth Round.

Ousseynou Cisse scored the decisive goal 15 minutes into the second half as the Dons defeated their Sky Bet Championship opponents in the capital to book their place in Monday's draw.

Callum Brittain returned to the starting XI for the first time in over a month after recovering from injury. He was one of five changes made by Robbie Neilson, who also handed a first start to striker Ike Ugbo - signed on loan from Chelsea earlier in the week.

Ugbo partnered Robbie Muirhead upfront and the Scot forced Nedum Onuoha into conceding an early corner. The QPR defence, however, were able to deal with the delivery in from the left.

Soon after, there was almost an opportunity for Ugbo to have a run through on goal but he was denied by some good defending from Josh Scowen.

QPR had their first chance on goal in the seven minute - a header from Matt Smith which was saved comfortably by Lee Nicholls.

The Dons were left off the hook on the quarter-hour mark when Jake Bidwell and Matt Smith got in each other’s way from Luke Freeman’s cross. Both players were well placed to threaten Nicholls but in the end neither were able to get a header on goal.

Neilson’s men came close to making them pay a minute later but Muirhead’s left-footed drive was deflected onto the post, with Alex Smithies beaten. The ball was cleared away for a throw-in from which Cisse produced a save out of the R’s goalkeeper with a strike from distance.

There was almost another chance for Muirhead on 20 minutes but he was flagged offside after latching onto Ugbo’s through ball - the loanee did well to win possession in the centre circle before sliding a pass through to Muirhead, who had just set off on his run a little early.

QPR were then awarded a free-kick in shooting range but Luke Freeman’s effort was blocked by the wall and his follow-up was sent off target. With their next chance, midfielder Ilias Chair volleyed wide from the edge of the area.

On the half-hour mark, Cisse fired over the bar as the Dons continued to offer a threat to their Sky Bet Championship opponents. The R’s, though, dominated the final 15 minutes of the first half and went close through a Chair effort which just went wide of the left post.

QPR midfielder Scowen forced a save out of Nicholls inside the first minute of the second half - the Dons’ number 1 made a smart stop to keep out the fierce effort.

The hosts kept the pressure on and moments later Jack Robinson wasted a glorious opportunity from 10-yards out before Smith saw a header stopped on the line by Nicholls. Wootton then did superbly to prevent Smith from connecting with a cross from substitute Pawel Wszolek.

Neilson’s men spent the first 15 minutes after the re-start soaking up pressure from the R’s, who were unable to make their early dominance count. Then, on 59 minutes, the Dons made their opponents pay by scoring with their first shot of the second half.

Cisse pounced on a loose pass from Scowen and drove towards the QPR goal. The Malian midfielder then created space with a cool dummy in the area before he curled a superb left-footed shot into the far corner of Smithies’ net. 0-1.

The goal sent the 1,163 Dons supporters into rapture although they did have Ed Upson to thank for maintaining the lead on 64 minutes as he cleared off the line from Freeman’s deflected shot.

QPR threw men forward in search of an equaliser but the men from MK1 remained dangerous on the counter and they almost doubled their lead with 16 minutes to play but Muirhead could only find the side netting from a tight angle.

Moments later, Nicholls kept out a header from Smith before Freeman saw his shot deflected wide of the target. Paul Smythe headed over from the resulting corner.

At the other end, substitute Agard saw a curling shot saved by Smithies with three minutes remaining - a goal which would have almost certainly secured victory.

Seven minutes of added time were awarded but the Dons were able to survive and secure a confidence-boosting success and a in the Fourth Roud.

Starting XI: Nicholls; Brittain (Ebanks-Landell 79), Wootton, Walsh, Williams (c); Cisse; McGrandles, Upson; Aneke; Muirhead (Agard 77), Ugbo (Thomas-Asante 90+1).

Unused subs: Sietsma, Kasumu, Nombe, Seager.

Goal: Cisse (59)

Booked: Muirhead, McGrandles, Wootton, Nicholls

Attendance: 6,314 (1,163 away)

Referee: J Linington


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