Portsmouth send Championship QPR spinning out of Carabao Cup to advance to third round
Two goals in four second-half minutes saw Pompey stun Championship QPR in the Carabao Cup with a 2-0 win.
John Marquis’ penalty and Marcus Harness finish saw Kenny Jackett’s men advance to the third round of the competition for the first time since 2010.
It was a night to savour in west London for the 1,874 travelling fans as their team banished the memory of the low of the 3-3 draw to nine-man Coventry eight days ago.
It saw Jackett rewarded as he sprung a selection surprise by shuffling the bodies around in his side with Christian Burgess going to right-back, Tom Naylor in the middle of defence and Ross McCrorie starting in midfield.
All of those men impressed against Mark Warburton’s side as the raucous away fans enjoyed their trip to the capital.
Pompey made two changes from the team who disappointed against Coventry last time out as Burgess and Brandon Haunstrup come in for Sean Raggett and Lee Brown.
The Blues fans who travelled to QPR’s home for the second game here in six months were in boisterous form and made their feelings known about the EFL in the face of Bury’s plight and expulsion from the league.
Pompey started brightly but it was the home side who nearly opened the scoring after 12 minutes with a delightful passing move from one end of the pitch to the other culminating in Jan Mlakar ball across the face of goal being just too far in front of Bright Osayi-Samuel.
The dangerous Ilias Chair then forced Craig MacGillivray into a smart stop in the 23rd minute as QPR got on top.
But Pompey responded with a flurry of attacking activity as first Marcus Harness cross just evaded Ronan Curtis, McCrorie’s 30 yarder was pushed away by Liam Kelly and Curtis’ shot in the turn went just past the post.
Naylor had to get a foot in to deal with a dangerous ball across the face of goal from Mlakar six minutes after the restart.
The home side should’ve been in front four minutes later but Marc Pugh could only plant a header straight at MacGillivray from a few yards out.
But Burgess, who was having a strong game at right-back, responded by whistling a 25 yarder narrowly over the top in the 68th minute.
The opener arrived nine minutes later, however, after Toni Leistner was fooled into a challenge on Marquis and the referee pointed to the spot, allowing the striker to send Kelly the wrong way from 12 yards.
And it got even better four minutes later as McCrorie steamed down the left and provided the centre for Harness to confidently slot in the second.
The fact this was Pompey’s night was underlined in stoppage time as Ebere Eze looked to have pulled a goal back - until the ref reversed his decision on the advice of his assistant.