Paddy McNair fires Sunderland through in EFL Cup

Paddy McNair fires Sunderland through in EFL Cup

Paddy McNair scored twice and Patrick van Aanholt returned to action as Sunderland beat QPR 2-1 to reach the fourth round of the EFL Cup.

Sandro put the home side in front on the hour with an impressive strike from just inside the area, after goalkeepers Matt Ingram and Jordan Pickford each made a number of fine saves in the first half.

McNair's brace, though, was enough to see the Premier League side progress.

Van Aanholt played the full game after he was left out of Sunderland's 1-0 defeat to Tottenham in the Premier League on Saturday at the last minute due to the results of heart tests.

The Wearsiders started the game strongly, with Joel Asoro's early shot going wide of the QPR goal.

Just over 10 minutes in, Duncan Watmore broke through the Hoops defence to get one-on-one with goalkeeper Ingram but his shot was pushed around the post and out for a corner.

The home side built momentum and their best chance of the first half came on 21 minutes when Nasser El Khayati fired a hard shot at Pickford, who pushed it out into the area before defender Jason Denayer headed behind.

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink's side beat Rochdale 2-1 in the second round in August and went into the dressing room at half-time the stronger side, but Sunderland came out fighting.

Only four minutes into the second half the Black Cats had had three shots on target, while Asoro looked in vain to referee Peter Bankes for a penalty on 50 minutes.

The Hoops capitalised on Sunderland's missed chances and countered with Conor Washington's header going just wide of the right-hand post a couple minutes later.

Hasselbaink's men continued to build on their momentum and on the hour mark Papy Djilobodji conceded a corner, with QPR making the most of the opportunity.

Joel Lynch's header back into the box found midfielder Sandro, who volleyed past Pickford to put the home side in the lead.

David Moyes' side appeared to come alive after the goal and it took the travelling side just 10 minutes to level the scoring again, with McNair beating the defence and sliding the ball past Ingram.

Sunderland went close to a second just two minutes later but Lee Cattermole's shot was pushed out of play by the Hoops keeper.

QPR, currently 16th in the Sky Bet Championship, began to flag with 15 minutes left and Sunderland capitalised on their struggling defence to take the lead in the 80th minute.

McNair found the back of the net for the second time, calmly placing his shot past McNair to send over 2,000 travelling fans wild and despite a couple of corners QPR could not find a reply.