Bobby Zamora's last-minute strike lifted Queens Park Rangers back into the Premier League. (Ben Hoskins/Getty Images)
Queens Park Rangers will join Burnley and Leicester City in the English Premier League next season thanks to a last-minute winner from Bobby Zamora in the Championship playoff final against Derby County. The stoppage-time goal capped the 1-0 result, and not only ensured QPR's immediate return to the English top flight after a one-year absence, but also awarded the club one of the richest prizes in world soccer.
The loss was a devastating one for Derby County, who found themselves up a man after QPR's Gary O'Neil was shown a red card for a late challenge on a goal-bound Johnny Russell just after halftime. The vast majority of the second half was played in QPR's half of the field, with Derby continually testing the defense with crosses and shots. Goalkeeper Robert Green was up to every challenge.
When QPR finally managed to get down the field in stoppage time, it made the most of the opportunity. Junior Hoilett started the winning sequence, scrapping for a loose ball on the end line before crossing for Zamora, who applied his expert touch on the finish (I highly recommend turning the sound on for this one).
QPR defeated Wigan in the playoff semifinals after finishing fourth in the Championship, five points behind third-placed Derby County.
Promotion to the Premier League usually nets clubs bonus payments of upwards of £
120 million (about $200 million), though for QPR that figure will be lessened thank to the club already receiving so-called "parachute payments" after dropping out of the EPL last season. Derby, meanwhile, will be left to rue what could have been after a devastating loss.