• by Yann Tear at Craven Cottage

Two-goal Kamara makes light of Mitrovic absence as Fulham beat QPR


Fulham 2 QPR 1

Two goals from Aleksandar Mitrovic’s stand-in gave Fulham the points in Friday night’s thrilling west London derby.

Fulham were second best during the first half, but Aboubakar Kamara’s first goal of the season ensured parity after 45 minutes.

And the unpredictable striker finished smartly midway through the second half to fully justify Scott Parker’s faith in him as the man to turn to in the absence of a suspended Mitrovic.

The Serb could not have done better himself.

The comeback had looked a long way off during a one-sided opening, with Rangers on top and full of menace, carving out good openings they should have cashed in on more heavily.

And with Fulham’s 12-goal top scorer missing, QPR will chalk it up as a missed opportunity.

The game was only three minutes old when Jordan Hugill put the visitors in front with his eighth goal of the season.

Todd Kane, impressive at right wing back, got in behind the Fulham defence and his cut back, although reached by a stretching Marek Rodak, fell perfectly to the QPR marksman at the far post.

Soon after, Rodak was diving low to his left to deny Nahki Wells and then Tim Ream almost put through his own net, turning a low cross from Kane against a post as the home side struggled to find their footing.

But with the shots count reading 6-1 in Rangers’ favour, Fulham equalised against the run of play on 27 minutes when Denis Odoi worked space for himself before delivering the perfect cross for Kamara to nod past Joe Lumley.

Rodak came out to smother Wells as Rangers almost retook the lead immediately, but Fulham, clearly galvanised again after a chastening opening 20 minutes, were almost in front when Ivan Cavalheiro smacked a low drive against the post following a sliderule pass from Tom Cairney,

Rangers were next to go close, when Hugill and Alfie Mawson contested a wicked cross from Ryan Manning, with a goalbound touch coming off one or both of them, but Rodak was equal to it.

After the break, Anthony Knockaert went close soon after the arrival off Bobby Reid off the bench - in place of n injured Harrison Reed. It was a switch that gave the hosts more pace and threat in the final third.

And on 64 minutes, the Whites went in front when Kamara bagged his second by slipping the ball past the advancing Lumley – who invited the goal with a sloppy kick out straight to Stefan Johansen.

A few minutes later and it should have been game over, with Reid playing in a perfect pass for Knockaert to race onto and the winger sending a low shot which came back off the far post.

But Fulham had their tails up now in what was an entirely different match. Boss Mark Warburton tried to reignite Rangers’ fading challenge, with Ilias Chair and Jan Mlakar brought on, but the Whites suddenly looked more solid and there was no way back for the visitors.

Fulham: Rodak – Odoi, Mawson, Ream, Bryan – Johansen, Reed (Reid 54), Cairney – Knockaert (Christie 76), Kamara, Cavaleiro (McDonald 90). Subs not used: Bettinelli, Kebano, Onomah, Riley.

QPR: Lumley – Hall, Leistner, Wallace – Kane, Amos (Chair 66), Ball (Mlakar 81), Eze, Manning – Wells (Scowen 65), Hugill. Subs not used: Barnes, Smith, Pugh, Osayi-Samuel

iro (McDonald 90). Subs not used: Bettinelli, Kebano, Onomah, Riley.

QPR: Lumley – Hall, Leistner, Wallace – Kane, Amos (Chair 66), Ball (Mlakar 81), Eze, Manning – Wells (Scowen 65), Hugill. Subs not used: Barnes, Smith, Pugh, Osayi-Samuel

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