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Michael Beale: Seny Dieng equaliser sums up ‘crazy’ game

Michael Beale (PA)
Michael Beale (PA)

Queens Park Rangers boss Michael Beale thinks a dramatic stoppage-time equaliser from goalkeeper Seny Dieng at Sunderland summed up a “crazy game” at the Stadium of Light.

Beale watched his side fight back from two goals down to claim a point courtesy of late heroics, capped by Dieng becoming the first QPR goalkeeper to find the net.

Sunderland, unbeaten in three league games since returning to the Sky Bet Championship, went ahead in the 31st minute when Ross Stewart converted a rebound after Dieng had stopped Dan Neil’s effort.

Nine minutes later Stewart’s strike partner Ellis Simms, on loan from Everton, hit a deserved second when he poked a low finish beyond the visiting goalkeeper.

But after the restart QPR battled away and created more chances, only for Sunderland to stand tall until Ilias Chair curled in a precise free-kick inside Anthony Patterson’s top left corner with three minutes remaining.

And after Patterson had denied Sinclair Armstrong an equaliser, up went Dieng for a corner. The Swiss-born Senegalese goalkeeper saw a first header blocked and when the second delivery came in he was still there to head in.

Beale said: “On the amount of chances we created, good opportunities, I thought I would be talking about a lack of quality coming in here. We had Albert Adomah’s header, Lyndon Dykes’ chance, Jimmy Dunne’s …

“At half-time we had honest words, told them to live more dangerously, we played on the front foot and Ilias scores a great goal. We had that massive moment with Sinclair Armstrong and I thought the moment had gone but Seny had other plans. It was a great goal followed by a great save.

“When Seny went up an assistant said ‘are you happy?’ I said ‘I am not going to bring him back. When the goalkeeper goes up, who picks him up, he attacks both balls in. A crazy game.

“Seny is a modest young man, says a few words. What a magic moment for him. He is the first goalkeeper to score for QPR and the 900 or so fans who have made the round trip with the train strike, they get to say I was there. He has made a couple of great saves as well.”

Even after Dieng’s equaliser, Sunderland attacked and had the chance to win it but he made a stunning low save to deny Stewart adding a third. Elliot Embleton hit the bar with the rebound.

Sunderland boss Alex Neil, whose side have seven points from three games, said: “I might be pleased in the morning. I am not pleased at the moment.

“I am hoping one of our heads land on the ball. The only way to fix that is to get my goalkeeper to mark their goalkeeper, it’s numbers. It’s 10 versus 11. We just didn’t get our head on the game and if we do, we win the game. I have not been done by a goalkeeper before.

“Even then Ross has a chance with his left foot, the keeper makes a good save, Elliot hits the underside of the bar. When your luck is not in your luck is not in.

“We deserved to win the game. We played well first half, I thought we defended pretty well second half. I could see the game petering out. The problem we have is two transitions led to two chances, and they both ended up in the back of net.

“We will see thousands of games like that this season where we will end up winning the game. Not today.”