Queens Park Rangers hosted Reading on the opening match day of the FL Championship at Loftus Road on Saturday.
Reading boss Jaap Stam provided good minutes for five players that awaited a debut including Vito Mannone, Pelle Clement and Jon Dadi Bodvarsson, but it was not enough as QPR won the match 2-0, with Connor Washington bagging a double for Rangers.
The first nine minutes of the game featured a string of corners awarded to the home side. However, chances were denied for the Rangers from what looked like a strong start for Vito Mannone in his competitive debut for Reading.
Bodvarsson also showed his potential debuting for Reading with an attempt at goal in the 11th minute, only to go over the bar from a Liam Kelly assist.
QPR showed a more dominant half with its pressing by in-form forward Jamie Mackie who led the Rangers with the counter but failed to convert chances in the goalless 20-minute bout between QPR and Reading.
Suddenly in the 22nd-minute Pawel Wszolek provided a cross into the Reading box into the path of Washington, who smashed the ball into the back of the net.
Tensions rose after the goal between QPR's Jamie Mackie and Reading's Chris Gunter following a series of fouls between the former Nottingham Forest teammates. Matters would have escalated further if the referee wasn't there to intervene.
Although Bodvarsson was showing a great performance in his first 45-minutes playing competitively for Reading, manager Jaap Stam and fans alike were concerned after a yellow card was conceded by the debutant in the 28th minute. The away crowd were weary after Bodvarsson picked up the booking from a late foul to QPR midfielder Massimo Luongo.
Nearing the end of the first half, QPR failed to convert two chances that could've gave them a 3-0 lead. The home crowd were shocked when goal scorer Washington missed a chance given by Luke Freeman as well as Massimo Luongo's attempt as the ball hit the wood work.
The beginning of the second half saw QPR make an immediate impact as an attempt from Luke Freeman outside the box flew high into the crowd, adding tension to Stam's men.
Reading's third debutant Pelle Clement was substituted after playing for 52 minutes for Gambian forward Modou Barrow, who looked strong in the first few minutes of his sub-on despite a missed chance.
Penalty to QPR... and a red card for Ilori for a last-man challenge.— Reading FC (@ReadingFC) August 5, 2017
Reading's day worsened as Tiago Ilori conceded a penalty from a foul on Pawel Wszolek in the box on the 56th minute. Ilori was shown a red card, meanwhile Bodvarsson's promising debut seemed to come to an end after sustaining an injury from QPR's Joe Lynch.
Lynch was given the yellow and Bodvarsson was subbed off in the 56th minute, giving the chance for Stam to award a debut to Reading youngster Omar Richards. Right after the substitution, Washington stepped up to the penalty box and scored into the top right corner for QPR to lead 2-0 in the 59th minute.
After a steady half hour of playing, both Washington and Mackie were subbed off in the 21st and 83rd minute with a loud roar from the home fans accompanied with a round of applause. Mackie refused to shake hands with former team mate Chris Gunter following his substitution.
Delays caused by the injuries to Bodvarsson and Washington made way for six minutes worth of added time from the fourth official. Substitute Modou Barrow was shown the yellow card after a dangerous challenge in the 92nd minute.
Ultimately the six added minutes weren't enough for Stam's men to bounce back. QPR won the game 2-0 at home against Reading and now see themselves second in the Championship table.