Date: Friday 9th May 2014
Venue: The DW Stadium
Referee: Mike Jones
In a tight affair at the DW Stadium on Friday night, Queens Park Rangers will be the happier of the two teams as they held Wigan Athletic to a 0-0 draw in the play-off semi-final first leg.
This was always going to be a tough game for both sides and recent history seems to show that the most likely outcome was going to be a draw.
Wigan could not break down QPR’s solid defence and came unstuck, with Marc-Antoine Fortune squandering the Latics’ best chance of the game just after the break.
This result leaves the semi-final perfectly poised with the second leg to be played tomorrow (Monday).
The game was fairly even in the opening stages but the first real opening fell to Gary O’Neil on the edge of the Latics’ box. Fortunately for Wigan, Gary Caldwell was there to block the shock before Jordi Gomez cleared the ball away.
Clint Hill was fortunate not to concede a penalty and receive a red card early on as he appeared to elbow Wigan left-back Rob Kiernan inside the penalty area.
Going forward, Junior Hoilett caused Wigan some problems down the left hand side of the field and one of his crosses was perfectly executed and Armand Traore could only watch his header fly over the bar from twelve yards.
Wigan continued to have the majority of the possession and they persisted to attempt to cause QPR some problems.
Eventually, a Caldwell fifty yard pass was touched down by Gomez, who took on a defender and shot straight into the stomach of Rob Green in the QPR net. This was undoubtedly the best chance for Wigan Athletic in the first half.
Harry Rednapp’s men seemed to perk up in the second half and began to open up more in an attempt to find a breakthrough.
Traore received the ball on the edge of the Wigan box and took an early shot which caught Scott Carson off guard. The former England number one was equal to the shot, however, diving low to his left.
The best chance of the game came on the hour mark as a Shaun Maloney corner was flicked on by Kiernan before being passed back to the Wigan left-back. Kiernan smashed the ball across goal in the direction of Fortune, who could only put the ball marginally over the bar from six yards out, despite no keeper being in the net. This was the chance for Wigan. Fortune should have scored.
After this chance, the Wigan fans got behind their team The DW Stadium was bouncing for about fifteen minutes of the second half as the fans urged their team up the field in search of a crucial goal.
As the game drew to a close, the two teams on the pitch became more defensive, knowing that a draw would be a good result; neither team wanted to concede.
It will be an interesting game at Loftus road on Monday when it will be decided just who will face Derby in the play-off final at Wembley on May the 24th.