REPORT: QPR 0-1 MK Dons: Cisse sends Dons through to FA Cup fourth round
Ouss Cisse fired Dons into the FA Cup fourth round after a sensational strike against Championship QPR at Loftus Road.
Cisse's first goal for the club came just shy of the hour mark, as he bent the ball wonderfully past keeper Alex Smithies to win it, though Rangers threw everything they had at Dons in the second half to no avail.
Robbie Neilson made five changes for the FA Cup trip to Loftus Road, including new signing Ike Ugbo up front for his debut. The back-line saw Joe Walsh, Scott Wootton and Callum Brittain reintroduced, while Chuks Aneke also returned to the side after starting on the bench at Oxford last week.
And the changes appeared to work in the early stages as Dons started brightly against a strong QPR side. Passing quickly and neatly, Dons were on top for most of the opening half hour and could have been ahead after 16 minutes when Ike Ugbo and Chuks Aneke combined for Robbie Muirhead to thump the upright from the edge of the area.
Dons continued to carve themselves chances with Ouss Cisse hammering one over, while the offside flag denied Muirhead from going one-on-one with R's keeper Alex Smithies.
QPR inevitably came into the game as the half wore on though, but Ilias Chair's strike a minute before the break, which skidded just wide of Lee Nicholls' upright, was as close as they'd come.
The home side penned Dons in early in the second half, piling the penalty area with bodies in a bid to seek out the opener. Despite a few nervy moments from Nicholls, who chased a lot of unnecessary lost causes which unsettled the Dons defence.
But it was an unsettled QPR defence which would be picking the ball out the net on 59 minutes. Jack Robinson threw himself into a slide to keep the ball from going out of play on the touchline, but inadvertantly allowed Cisse to break in on goal. A clever shimmy earned him space in the area, and he bent it brilliantly past Smithies into the far corner to give Dons the lead.
A stinging Rangers continued to throw the ball high into the Dons area, and were almost level immediately only for Ed Upson to clear Luke Freeman's deflected effort off the line.
Dons should have wrapped it up with 17 minutes remaining though. Ugbo's persistence to win the ball despite being on the ground gave Aneke space to feed Muirhead down the left, but his strike was narrowly wide and into the side netting.
While it was backs to the wall for much of the remainder of the game, Dons should have sealed it when, in almost a carbon copy of the goal, Robinson's mistake allowed Aneke to break down the right, but rather than taking a shot, he opted to look for Ugbo in the centre, but his attempted chip to him was terrible and let QPR off the hook.
Dons saw out nine minutes of stoppage time against Peterborough last week, and another seven minutes at Loftus Road to keep a clean sheet, but hearts were in mouths when Freeman had a free kick with the last kick of the game, which sailed harmlessly wide.
Referee: James Linington
Attendance: 6,314 (1,163)
QPR: Smithies, Baptise (Hall 11), Onuoha, Robinson, Cousins (Wszolek 46), Chair (Eze 61), Scowen, Freeman, Bidwell, Smyth, Smith
Subs not used: Lumley, Lynch, Osayi-Samuel, Oteh
MK Dons: Nicholls, Brittain (Ebanks-Landell 80), Wootton, Walsh, Williams, Cisse, Upson, McGrandles, Aneke, Muirhead (Agard 77), Ugbo (Thomas-Asante 90)
Subs not used: Sietsma, Seager, Nombe, Kasumu
Booked: Muirhead, McGrandles, Freeman, Wootton, Nicholls