Queens Park Rangers put in a heroic performance for 90 minutes against Wigan Athletic on Sunday, but crumbled in stoppage time to give away two points.
Bobby Zamora was sent off for a dangerous play in the first half, seriously hindering QPR's chances of snatching a result, but they finished off a brilliant counter attack late in the second half to go up. Sadly for Harry Redknapp's side, they went on to gift Wigan a way back into the game with a needless foul at the end of the match, which the Latics took advantage of to snatch a 1-1 draw that will prove heartbreaking for the hosts.
Zamora's sending off came on what should have been a fairly innocent throw-in. In a moment of absolutely horrendous judgment, Zamora put his boot up high in an attempt to win the ball, inadvertently kicking Jordi Gomez in the head. After discussing the play with his assistant, referee Phil Dowd determined that the offense was worthy of a straight red card and sent the QPR striker off.
Wigan started to boss the game shortly after QPR went down to 10 men, but the hosts put together a couple of dangerous counters just before the break, foreshadowing what was to come. The Latics continued to enjoy most of the possession to start the second half, but QPR always looked a threat to score, especially through Andros Townsend and occasionally through Adel Taarabt, when he entered as a substitute.
However, it was Stephane Mbia who set up the winner for his side. After a botched indirect free kick from Wigan, Mbia burst out of the QPR wall, picked up the ball and burst into space. There was only one Wigan defender back and no one to pick up the late run of Loic Remy, who had surged down the right flank. Mbia laid the ball off to his striker, who struck a spectacular shot from a narrow angle to put QPR ahead.
Unfortunately for the home crowd, they didn't get to watch their side hold on for an important win. What Mbia gave to his side, he later took away with a senseless foul on the edge of the penalty area in the third minute of stoppage time. Shaun Maloney stepped up and curled an absolutely unstoppable free kick around the wall and past Julio Cesar, breaking the hearts of Queens Park Rangers.
There are five matches left to play, but these are two dropped points that could seal QPR's fate. A win would have seen them crawl close to safety, but they're running out of mulligans.