REPORT: Owls 1-1 QPR
Sheffield Wednesday were held to a 1-1 draw with QPR on Tuesday evening after Atdhe Nuhiu’s second half header secured a point for the Owls.
With the game goalless at the interval despite the hosts’ strong showing, Gary Hooper was chopped down inside the penalty area on 47 minutes – but Rangers goalkeeper Alex Smithies was equal to Nuhiu’s penalty.
And the London club opened the scoring against the run of play on the 57th minute as Daniel Toszer smashed a half volley past Keiren Westwood after the Owls failed to clear their lines.
But Nuhiu was on hand to make amends for his penalty miss by nodding past Smithies on the 63rd minute after jumping to meet a pinpoint Daniel Pudil cross.
There was only one change to the starting XI from Saturday’s trip to Preston, with the suspended Fernando Forestieri replaced by winger Aiden McGeady after his dismissal against the Lancashire club.
It was a strong start by Wednesday as the hosts dominated the opening passages of the match.
Ross Wallace had the first chance for the Owls on three minutes after he shimmied past his man with an ingenious piece of footwork, before lashing just over the bar from 25 yards.
The first half turned to be quite the one-sided affair, but without the goals to match.
QPR couldn’t keep up with the pinball-like passing from Wednesday as Hooper smartly flicked on for Pudil to cross, but his low ball across the face of goal was just too far in front of Nuhiu’s outstretched leg.
With clear cut chances the only thing lacking for the spritely Owls, Nuhiu forced Smithies into his first save of the match just after the half-hour mark.
The big man controlled a long ball over the top before shooting low from a tight angle, but Smithies was on hand to palm the ball away from the prowling Hooper.
Wednesday continued to control the game after the interval, and were handed an opportunity to take the lead after Hooper was brought down inside the penalty area.
Referee Andy Davies had no hesitation about awarding the spot-kick, but Nuhiu’s effort from 12 yards was saved down low by R’s keeper Smithies.
Despite dominating the majority of the game, QPR took the lead against the run of play on 57 minutes.
The Owls couldn’t clear their lines after the visitors launched a cross into the box, with the ball sitting up perfectly for Hungarian midfielder Tozser rifling home from the edge of the area.
After conceding, Wednesday seemed to be more relentless in their pursuit of a goal, and they equalised just six minutes later.
Pudil whipped in a tantalising cross into the box for Nuhiu to attack, and the Kosovo-born forward glanced his header past Smithies.
Heading towards the final 15 minutes it seemed as though the visitors were relying on the Owls’ forward pressure to launch counter attacks.
And it was from a Wednesday move that Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s men came close to regaining the lead as Sebastien Polter teed up Matt Phillips who drilled inches wide of the post.
The Owls pushed for a winner as their visitors wilted and a minute from time, Kieran Lee went down in the box under a challenge from Grant Hall but the referee waived away the Wednesday appeals and the R's held on for a point.
Wednesday: Westwood, Nuhiu, Hooper, Lees, Lee, Sasso, Hunt, Wallace, Pudil, McGeady (Joao, 62), Bannan