Rochdale bowed out of the EFL Cup on Tuesday night after a 2-1 defeat to Championship side QPR at Loftus Road.
Matty Lund headed Dale ahead six minutes into the game, before Sandro netted shortly before the break to pull the R’s level. He netted his second of the night 15 minutes from time to claim victory for the home side.
There were two changes to the side that started in the weekend’s league fixture against MK Dons. Joe Rafferty returned from injury to take his place in the line-up, while Donal McDermott was also given the nod.
They started ahead of Nathaniel Mendez-Laing and Joe Bunney.
Rochdale enjoyed a positive start to the game, as they applied some early pressure, but it was the home-side who had the first sight on goal after four minutes. Conor Washington was sent through on goal after latching onto the end of a precision ball over the top. The forward looked certain to break into the area, but was denied entry by the outrushing Conrad Logan, who snuffed out the danger with his chest.
Two minutes later and Dale were ahead, as Matty Lund headed beyond Matt Ingram at the back post from a Donal McDermott corner.
Sixty seconds after the goal, Dale came close to doubling their advantage but Andy Cannon could only hit agonisingly wide of the upright.
Rochdale had been dominant, but QPR began to grow into the game as the half continued, and Logan was called into action in the 17th minute when Washington beat the offside trap. The stopper kept him out with
Abdenasser El Khayati then fired narrowly over the bar from a free-kick, before his pacey delivery into the area took a deflection, forcing Logan into a save a short time later.
Shortly after the half hour mark, there were shouts for a QPR penalty after Washington went to ground inside the area. The referee was quick to wave away the appeals.
QPR levelled the scoring four minutes before the break from a corner. Sandro arrived late in the box to sweep the ball low into the back of the net from 12-yards.
HT: QPR 1-1 ROCHDALE
A couple of minutes after the re-start, McDermott loaded the area with a free-kick, and an almighty scramble followed, as both sides battled to get a touch on the ball. After bouncing around in the six-yard box, the home-side somehow cleared the danger.
QPR enjoyed plenty of the ball during the opening exchanges of the second half but failed to test Logan, with the majority of their sights on goal coming from set-pieces.
Shortly after the hour mark, Manager Keith Hill made a double substitution, with Nathaniel Mendez-Laing and Steven Davies replacing Cannon and Joe Thompson.
Goal-scorer Sandro was kept out by Logan, who got down to save a deflected effort from the R’s player in the 68th minute. McDermott then sent a powerful effort from distance over the bar, before QPR, who had been ramping up the pressure, took the lead. Sandro sent home a diving header from a corner ball.
Rochdale responded well after the goal, and just a minute later, Rafferty delivered a dangerous ball across the face of goal. QPR got the slightest of touches to steer it away from the waiting Dale players.
Soon after, Dale’s third and final substitution followed, as Rafferty made way for Calvin Andrew. Hendo was in on goal shortly afterwards when he was played in by Davies. Under pressure, his effort was forced wide.
Before the half was out, a brave Logan came off his line to deny Shodipo who was through on goal, as the home side finished strongly.
FT: QPR 2-1 Rochdale