London celebrations

Dieng: Late save was important as goal

History maker Seny Dieng said a late double save to earn a point for QPR at Sunderland was a bigger moment than his superb equalizer in injury time.

Dieng rose to the top to power Ilias Chair’s pinpoint delivery in injury time to become the first Rangers goalkeeper to have his name on the scoresheet – and stun the home crowd at the Stadium of Light.

“I had to go up,” Dieng said.

“We had a corner and I thought, ‘If not now, then when?’

“I came up hoping to affect him in some way. It was a nice cross and I put my head on it with a nice connection. It was a good time. »

After his heroism in the Sunderland box, he then returned to his day job and made two remarkable saves to first deny Ross Stewart and then, in combination with Rob Dickie, the follow-up to Eliott Embleton who got crashed onto the crossbar and away to safety. .

The save secured a hard-earned point for Rangers and Dieng said his goal would have left him feeling hollow had Sunderland pinched all three points after the visitors fought back.

“It was a great feeling too, but as the game goes on you have to stay focused and if the ball had gone into my goal it would have been quickly forgotten,” he said.

“But in the second half we showed great character and I think we deserved to get the draw.

“I don’t practice heading in training, I only use my hands, so it was a nice feeling at the end to get something out of the game.”

It wasn’t Dieng’s first time scoring. In 2017, during a loan spell with non-League Whitehawk, he scored in the same way but in a losing cause against Chichester.

As a youth, the Swiss-born Senegal international played as a striker or midfielder and said those old skills in front of goal served him well, but admitted he didn’t know how to celebrate when the ball touched the net.

“I didn’t know what to do, then all the players were all over me,” he said.