Queens Park Rangers remain poised to return to the Premier League despite having to put their promotion party on ice after Hull grabbed a late draw.

QPR looked set to seal the Championship title but Hull's equaliser, and a Norwich win against Derby, means they need a point to be sure of going up.

Third-placed Cardiff could still catch leaders QPR, but the west London club have a goal difference advantage of 13.

Wayne Routledge hit the early opener but David Amoo volleyed in for Hull.

QPR's promotion party ruined by late Norwich goal

Neil Warnock's team, who have led the Championship virtually all season, are making hard work of ending their 15-year absence from the top flight.

They did not come out for a lap of honour in the sun having failed to seal the victory they craved - which would have guaranteed the title - in front of their expectant home fans.

Supporters still streamed on to the pitch at full-time celebrating what they thought was certain promotion.

But, seconds later, news filtered through that Simeon Jackson had nicked a late winner for Norwich, meaning that QPR are still not technically promoted - although there remains a strong likelihood it will happen.

Nor are Rangers certain to be champions, with Norwich five points behind them with two matches left to play.

The late drama provided a stark contrast to what felt like a Bank Holiday stroll for a team continually inspired by the talent of playmaker Adel Taarabt.

Hull striker Matty Fryatt could have made more of free space in the area after two minutes as Paddy Kenny saved with his right foot, but QPR had more cutting edge in the final third.

Richard Garcia's sharp challenge on Taarabt by the corner flag meant the gifted Moroccan could whip a free-kick over, from which Heidar Helguson headed just over.

But nine minutes in, a perceptive square pass from Taarabt freed Routledge near the half-way line.

With Hull's defensive unit caught napping too far forward, Routledge sped away from Jack Hobbs and Anthony Gerrard to crack the ball past Matt Duke upon reaching the penalty area to send Loftus Road wild.

Soon after, in-form Hull midfielder Corry Evans - brother of Manchester United's Jonny - was replaced by Hope Akpan and, flushed with confidence, the hosts knocked the ball around with aplomb.

Yet their next good chance came from a long throw-in slung into the box, from which another Helguson header had Duke tipping the dipping ball over his bar.

Routledge, a willing accomplice for Taarabt's invention, swung in a dangerous bouncing cross on the half-hour - but it flummoxed his own slow-to-react team-mates, as well as the visitor's defence.

A breathtaking piece of juggling skill from Taarabt, who will be determined to prove he can turn it on in the top-flight having failed to establish himself at Tottenham previously, preceded his audacious waist-high free-kick from 40 yards which whistled past the post.

With Hull struggling to keep hold of the ball, Tommy Smith set up a blocked Fitz Hall effort while Shaun Derry - an effective screen for the home defence - nearly freed Helguson in bizarre fashion with a 30-yard headed through-ball.

Two injuries alarms either side of half-time proved, thankfully, to be nothing more than brief scares.

QPR goalkeeper Kenny came to gather a short cross but, despite landing awkwardly on his neck after somersaulting in the air, the former Sheffield United man was able to continue.

And so was second-half substitute Aaron Mclean, a striker on for midfielder Tom Crainey, after Derry accidentally stood heavily on his ankle just 30 seconds after the restart.

With a more ambitious mindset, and altered line-up to match, Hull put QPR under more pressure in the middle of the park, but goalmouth action was distinctly lacking - a long-range Taarabt free-kick sailing over the bar after 55 minutes.

Pearson shrugs off 'party pooper' tag

Hall, however, produced an alert sliding block in the penalty area when Fryatt muscled his way through to shoot in the 62nd minute.

Fans favourite Taarabt was inches from producing a fitting goal for himself with 20 minutes remaining but, after cleverly spinning away from a defender on the half-way line to accelerate towards goal, his left-foot shot from 15 yards just evaded the top corner.

With Hull aware that they needed at least a point to keep their own slim play-off hopes alive, the visitors pushed harder - and hit a shock equaliser with nine minutes left to play.

Substitube Amoo - a striker on loan from Liverpool - sprang the offside trap before smashing the ball high past Kenny after letting it drop over his shoulder from a clever lofted pass.

QPR substitute Patrick Agyemang did have a late chance to hit what would have been a glorious winner, but he overhit a lob when well placed to score, before Alejandro Faurlin's left-foot free-kick was brilliantly clawed away by Duke.

Queens Park Rangers boss Neil Warnock: "I'm disappointed not to have tied it up but it doesn't surprise me with this team, we keep things going until the end.

"We are five points clear [of Norwich in second] with two games to go, you can't ask for much more. I think the fans know the goal difference is good and it's a healthy position to be in.

"To concede a goal from a kick from our keeper, it's Sunday league stuff really. I had a few words in the dressing room, it was not acceptable. But we'll go out and try to win our last two games now."

Hull manager Nigel Pearson: "It's probably too much now [to get into the Championship play-offs]. We have to win our games and need others to slip up.

"But we've made great strides this season, and it's important we finish on a positive note."

Lineup, Bookings (3) & Substitutions (5)

Queens Park Rangers

  • 01 Kenny
  • 02 Orr
  • 03 Hill
  • 05 Hall
  • 13 Gorkss
  • 04 Derry
  • 07 Taarabt
  • 11 Faurlin
  • 15 Routledge
  • 09 Helguson (Agyemang - 76' )
  • 21 Smith (Ephraim - 67' )

Substitutes

  • 24 Cerny
  • 16 Connolly
  • 41 Shittu
  • 10 Buzsaky
  • 25 Ephraim
  • 19 Agyemang
  • 20 Hulse

Hull City

  • 01 Duke
  • 03 Dawson Booked
  • 04 Hobbs
  • 16 Chester
  • 25 Gerrard Booked
  • 08 Harper
  • 14 Cairney (Mclean - 46' )
  • 28 Evans (Akpan - 12' )
  • 07 Garcia Booked
  • 12 Fryatt
  • 23 Simpson (Amoo - 71' )

Substitutes

  • 13 Oxley
  • 20 Devitt
  • 24 Solano
  • 37 Belaid
  • 38 Akpan
  • 26 Amoo
  • 33 Mclean
Ref: Webster
Att: 17,399

Match Stats

Shots

10 6

On target

4 3

Corners

4 3

Fouls

6 10

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +5:41 Full time

Full Time The referee blows for the end of the match.

90:00 +4:00

Clint Hill gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on James Chester. Matt Duke takes the free kick.

90:00 +3:23

Corner taken right-footed by Wayne Routledge from the right by-line, clearance by Anthony Gerrard.

90:00 +2:09

Shot comes in from Alejandro Faurlin from the free kick, brilliant save by Matt Duke.

90:00 +2:09 Booking

Booking The referee shows Anthony Gerrard a yellow card for dissent.

90:00 +1:50

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Adel Taarabt by Jack Hobbs.

86:40

Patrick Agyemang takes a shot from just inside the penalty box which clears the crossbar.

85:59

David Amoo takes a shot. Save by Patrick Kenny.

83:57

The assistant referee signals for offside against Patrick Agyemang. Indirect free kick taken by Matt Duke.

82:52

Matt Fryatt has an effort at goal and missed to the right of the net.

80:53

Assist by Hope Akpan.

80:53 Goal scored

Goal! - David Amoo - QPR 1 - 1 Hull David Amoo fires in a goal from inside the area high into the middle of the goal. QPR 1-1 Hull.

79:14

The referee blows for offside against Wayne Routledge. Matt Duke restarts play with the free kick.

75:42 Substitution

Substitution Patrick Agyemang joins the action as a substitute, replacing Heidar Helguson.

75:13

The assistant referee signals for offside against Aaron Mclean. Free kick taken by Patrick Kenny.

72:24

Unfair challenge on Matt Fryatt by Fitz Hall results in a free kick. Andy Dawson crosses the ball from the free kick left-footed from left channel.

69:45 Substitution

Substitution David Amoo joins the action as a substitute, replacing Jay Simpson.

69:45

Effort from inside the area by Adel Taarabt misses to the left of the target.

68:44

Foul by Clint Hill on Andy Dawson, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Matt Duke.

66:48 Substitution

Substitution Hogan Ephraim on for Tommy Smith.

65:14

Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Andy Dawson played to the near post, clearance by Bradley Orr.

64:57

Adel Taarabt takes a shot. Blocked by Anthony Gerrard.

62:00

Close range headed effort by Matt Fryatt goes wide of the left-hand upright.

59:19

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on James Chester by Adel Taarabt. Direct free kick taken by Matt Duke.

55:39

Adel Taarabt fires a strike on goal direct from the free kick.

55:39 Booking

Booking Richard Garcia is given a yellow card.

55:32

Heidar Helguson fouled by Richard Garcia, the ref awards a free kick.

51:27

The referee blows for offside against Heidar Helguson. Indirect free kick taken by Matt Duke.

48:52

Adel Taarabt crosses the ball in from the free kick.

48:52 Booking

Booking The referee books Andy Dawson for unsporting behaviour.

48:44

Andy Dawson challenges Heidar Helguson unfairly and gives away a free kick.

45:11

Hope Akpan gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Alejandro Faurlin. Adel Taarabt takes the direct free kick.

45:01

The second half begins.

45:01 Substitution

Substitution Tom Cairney leaves the field to be replaced by Aaron Mclean.

45:00 +3:06 Half time

Half Time The ref blows to end the first period.

44:13

Unfair challenge on Alejandro Faurlin by Hope Akpan results in a free kick. Adel Taarabt crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from right channel, Jack Hobbs manages to make a clearance.

38:17

Corner taken by Tom Cairney played to the near post, clearance by Heidar Helguson. Tom Cairney takes the inswinging corner, Kaspars Gorkss makes a clearance.

37:18

Heidar Helguson concedes a free kick for a foul on Jack Hobbs. Direct free kick taken by Matt Duke.

34:57

The official flags Wayne Routledge offside. Matt Duke takes the indirect free kick.

33:32

James Chester concedes a free kick for a foul on Tommy Smith. Patrick Kenny takes the direct free kick.

31:39

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Wayne Routledge by Andy Dawson. Direct strike on goal from the free kick comes in from Adel Taarabt.

30:21

Richard Garcia concedes a free kick for a foul on Adel Taarabt. Adel Taarabt sends in a cross, Kaspars Gorkss takes a shot. Anthony Gerrard gets a block in.

29:19

Corner taken right-footed by Adel Taarabt, Anthony Gerrard manages to make a clearance.

27:59

Tom Cairney concedes a free kick for a foul on Alejandro Faurlin. Direct free kick taken by Patrick Kenny.

26:53

Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Adel Taarabt played to the near post.

25:50

Jay Simpson has an effort at goal from outside the box which goes wide right of the goal.

19:08

Heidar Helguson takes a shot. Save by Matt Duke. Corner taken by Adel Taarabt from the right by-line to the near post, James Chester makes a clearance.

16:52

Unfair challenge on Jack Hobbs by Clint Hill results in a free kick. Matt Duke restarts play with the free kick.

11:41 Substitution

Substitution Hope Akpan joins the action as a substitute, replacing Corry Evans.

8:46

The assist for the goal came from Adel Taarabt.

8:46 Goal scored

Goal! - Wayne Routledge - QPR 1 - 0 Hull Goal scored by Wayne Routledge from inside the box to the bottom left corner of the goal. QPR 1-0 Hull.

7:31

Richard Garcia gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Adel Taarabt. The ball is crossed by Adel Taarabt, Heidar Helguson has a header from close range and clears the crossbar.

1:43

Matt Fryatt takes a shot. Clint Hill gets a block in.

0:00

The game kicks-off.

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